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How to Encourage Donors to Help with Philanthropic Work

Individual philanthropists may be able to support some community projects without outside help, but most projects require at least some additional funds and manpower. Many people find it hard to ask others for money, but they need to be able to put their personal qualms aside. I will explain the best ways to encourage others to donate their time and money in order to make your philanthropic project succeed.


The first step toward encouraging people to give is education. You will want to teach your intended donors about the various issues that trouble the people in the area you wish to help. Many people are ignorant of others’ problems, and helping to open their eyes may be the push they need toward helping you with your project.

For example, explaining how leprosy is still affecting developing countries may be helpful when discussing helping communities in Cambodia, where I recently traveled.

Be Thoughtful

You need to think about why your project matters to your intended donors. People don’t care what your financial goal is; they want to know how their money will help people in the community you serve. You need to keep your focus on the people you serve, explaining exactly who will be helped by the organization’s activities.

For example, if you are working to support an orphanage, talk about some of the children who live there and the challenges they have faced. People who are reluctant to give may have their hearts opened if they learn about a child’s life and about their struggles.

Be Inspiring

It is important to go in with a positive, inspirational mindset. People will be turned off if they are lectured or if the problem faced by your project feels insurmountable. Donors want to know that their money is helping to take steps toward a measurable goal.

If you can inspire people, you will be more likely to get a gift. If you confuse or bore them, you will not get any support. Make sure your message motivates people to give.

Be Wary of Desensitizing People

If you constantly talk about how bad things are in the area you wish to help, you may turn potential donors off. Many people will believe that helping you is pointless if you only focus on the negative aspects of their situation. You will need to make sure that you present a hopeful message, even if the situation is dire. This means that people will feel optimistic when they open their wallets to help you.

Focus Appeals on a Single Person

Unfortunately, some of your potential donors may be prejudiced against the people you want to help. They may look down on your community partners because of race, religion, or another aspect of their lives. You will need to present an individual’s story as part of your fundraising pitch. While some people are less likely to give to a group they dislike, they can often be moved by a personal story.

Help Donors Express Their Emotions

This is another facet of desensitizing people toward hunger, violence, and repression. Many people will emotionally shut down when they are faced with so many problems. You should explicitly instruct people to feel their emotions, rather than trying to take a purely logical look at the situation. People who adopt detached attitudes are less likely to be moved by a personal story and less likely to give.

Matters of Identity

Tying generosity to a person's identity may make them more likely to give. When they see generosity as part of themselves, they will be more likely to lend a hand. When people give something that represents them personally, like a clothing or blood donation, they are more likely to feel satisfied by their gift.

Helping people identify as philanthropists will go a long way toward breaking down some of the barriers that prevent them from giving to charitable causes.

Be Sure to Ask Outright for Donations

Many people may be nervous about outright asking for money. If you do not ask people directly, they may be confused about how to proceed. You need to target your message to the group you have in mind, explaining exactly how their gift will help. You will need to get over your embarrassment about directly asking for funding if you want to make a difference.

Understanding Charitable Giving

When you take a closer look at your blueprint for encouraging donations, you may have a better chance at success. These steps will help you organize your thoughts and your campaign to help a community in need. Breaking through people’s misconceptions and prejudices, as well as helping them identify as kind and giving people, will go a long way toward helping them learn to give money and time.

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