Purpose For Giving

The families that start foundations and donors that keep them going are looking for reasons, purpose, to give. They founded or support their organizations for specific reasons and that purpose drives their giving. Understanding these purposes can make the difference in gaining support or going into the refuse pile.

While every foundation will have a unique purpose for giving, it is typically outlined in their mission, vision, and values statements. When you have determined their specific purposes, keep these thoughts in mind as you develop your appeals:

Give Them A Reason to Give

  1. They are looking to make investments, not gifts.

You need to demonstrate that you have done your due diligence. Present your goals, strategies, and predicted outcomes in ways that demonstrate your understanding of your constituents, the problem you are working to solve, and the solutions that are most likely to product the desired impact. Ensure that yours in a new approach, not a recycled repetition of a failed or antiquated strategy with diminished results. Show your insight and innovation to attract new “investors”.

  • They are looking for strategies that result in future success for constituents.

Strategies that create solutions for new or age-old problems attract the most attention. Again, we are looking for innovative solutions as opposed to ones that have not worked in the past. Create opportunities for newcomers to provide input, young people to take leadership, and new ideas and technologies to emerge. You need to demonstrate your commitment to get others involved so that your idea will be sustainable. Be sure to stress your focus on data collection and reporting. Transparency is key.

  • They are looking to establish relationships, not just hand out checks.

Relationships between donor and operating organizations increase the impact of programs. It connects the donor with the impact of their financial support (which is exactly why they donated in the first place), and It improves communication. This reduces the stress of the donor/receiver relationship and levels the power dynamics of the giving paradigm. Everyone has a chance to succeed when they feel equally invested in a common goal.

Make Changes Now

Have you put these strategies front and center in your grant writing, communications, and fundraising?  If not, update your tactics now! The people holding the purse strings are looking for purpose in their giving. If you NEED funding, then these should be your focus.

Want to learn more? Check out this article.

Happy Fundraising!

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