Understanding Charitable Donation Gifts Through Your Donor's Mindset

by Jake Thornton

Brian Holmes is one of Australia’s leading Major Gifts and Capital Campaigns fundraising consultants.

In a recent interview with Fulfilled, Brian discusses how charitable donation gifts and the donor’s motivations to give can be better understood when we understand the donor’s mindset.

Question to Brian – “What are some recurring problems you see within fundraising teams?”

Brian Holmes discusses how charities can maximise their charitable donation gifts by understanding the donor’s mindset.

It’s interesting when you’re working with a fundraising team, because I guess the consultant’s role is to look at two things.

“And we’ve talked a lot about the community’s willingness to give. But of course, there’s also the organisation’s readiness to ask.”

And so that goes back to where is the fundraising team and what skills do they have, what resources do they have, what experience they have. So how much work needs to go into the fundraising team itself to prepare them for successful asking.

It may be as much as going back to what are they working with as far as their case to support. The reason why somebody should give to this organisation.

“And I think the most difficult thing that happens within an organisation is often an organisation comes from the organisation’s point of view.”

We offer all the services and it’s all wonderful stuff. But at the end of the day, the donor is not there to support the organisation, the donor, wants to change people’s lives.

And you’re an organisation that changes people’s lives. So what happens is sometimes an organisation is out there telling everybody how wonderful they are rather than talking about the real need and the people they help.

“So part of our role is how do we move things away from the organisation’s view of the story they want to tell to the donors view of what they want to hear about the organisation.”

That’s the key for us. It’s educating an organisation to get inside the donors mind and their reasons to give charitable donation gifts.

You can only ever do that if you’re talking to your donors. So one of the biggest things we find is when an organisation isn’t talking to its donors and it’s sending its appeals out. It’s doing its fundraising programmes, but nobody is actually talking to its donors.

“This is where it disconnects and you have to reconnect them. I think that then stems fundamentally from the board and the CEO.”

So one of the things I encourage every organisation to do is that the board and the CEO should really make two or three calls a year to donors thanking them for their charitable donation gifts.

The support of the organisation, and telling them a little bit about the impact it’s having, but also asking the question, “What is it that causes you to support us in particular?”

“Because there’s nothing better than learning firsthand why somebody is giving to your organisation and the stories that come out of that.”

Not only will inspire those board members and the CEO, but also give them an insight into what is it that we have to be communicating to our donors.

Click here to see the full interview with Brian Holmes. Discover where problems may exist within your fundraising efforts when maximising your charitable donation gifts from donors.

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