Why does one Donate for causes?

A model to understand “why people donate for various causes” helps in identifying the various influencing factors and how one can evolve appropriate strategies that can help a donor meet his or her own needs. The model below has been developed by S Parthasarathy, Head – Alumni Relations and is a personal reflection of the process involved in alumni giving back.

Each of the above components can be chunked down to deepen one’s understanding of the various factors involved. For example, find below an enlarged picture of the “What/Why” question as represented by the green colored triangle. This constitutes the bundle that the donor is buying into – causes, meaning and impact. This bundle is the value proposition. Appropriate causes motivate a donor to take action that meets his/her needs. “Causes” and “Impact” are external to the donor and “Meaning” is a reflection of the inner self.

However, even if one has appropriate causes that creates impact and is aligned to the donor’s inner self, it may still not convert into a donation if there is lack of emotional connection. Emotional connection is like a catalyst in an chemical reaction. It is a critical component of the giving back process. Emotional connection can be built by undertaking various engagement activities that map into the needs of alumni.

The reader can chunk down each of the components given in the diagram and explore options that will facilitate the donation process.