Top 3 Takeaways – The Psychology of Philanthropy

The Psychology of Philanthropy
Presented by Marian Z. Stern
September 9, 2015
Presented in collaboration with The Foundation Center New York

This session gave an overview of the psychology of philanthropy and research being conducted in the field. The course objective was to demonstrate how fundraisers may apply psychological theory to fundraising strategy to more fully engage donors over the long-term. Topics covered included donor motivation and satisfaction, emotions associated with money, donor fatigue, and how personality type can inform the donor-donee relationship.

Top 3 Take-Aways:

1. There are numerous reasons why people are motivated to be philanthropic, but they all revolved around the concept that humans are a social species, and we want to connect with others in our communities, whether local or global. Some of the most often cited motivations are: religious conviction, wanting to make a difference, and gratitude.

2. The concept of Identification plays a pivotal role in philanthropy. Donors will most often donate to people, groups, and causes with which they strongly personally identify. When identification evolves into direct involvement, the likelihood that they will give increases.

3. To build effective relationships with their prospects and donors, fundraisers must make it more about the donor and his/her values/needs, than about their organization. This is achieved through good listening and formulating cases for support that provide varied and appropriate opportunities.

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