“People give to people.”
We say it a lot around the office here. It’s the guiding principle of everything we do. We believe in it so much that we changed our entire business model (which used to give primacy to matching campaigns).
But I’m always a bit nervous when I hear the phrase bandied around. I’m nervous that it will get worn and lose its meaning. I’m nervous it will become like that song you love so you play it over and over and over again to the point that you don’t want to hear it anymore.
It’s a powerful phrase and it deserves to be unpacked.
This principle delves into the profound psychology behind philanthropy, It emphasizes the vital role that personal connections play in inspiring generosity.
Understanding the Psychology
- Emotional Resonance: Human connections evoke emotions. Emotions drive action. When donors feel a personal connection to an individual, they are more likely to engage and contribute.
- Trust and Relatability: Trust is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. When my friend asks me for a donation, there is no greater social proof. My friend is stamping the cause with a seal of approval. If it’s good enough for my high school buddy, it’s good enough for me.
- Sense of Impact: Personal connections create a tangible link between the donor’s contribution and its impact. Knowing that their support directly influences someone they care about fosters a sense of efficacy and fulfillment.
Utilizing the Principle
- Empower Peer Fundraisers: The more personal, the better. Real stories. Real sharing. Whether it’s a video, blog post, or social media update, authentic narratives humanize the campaign.
- Highlight Individual Impact: Showcase specific individuals or beneficiaries who have directly benefited from past contributions. Personal success stories provide concrete examples of how donors can make a difference.
- Cultivate Relationships: Foster a sense of community within your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Facilitate connections between donors, peer fundraisers, and beneficiaries. This community-building approach strengthens personal ties and enhances the overall donor experience.
- Recognition and Appreciation: Acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of individual donors. Personalized thank-you messages, shout-outs, or exclusive updates can make donors feel valued and connected to the cause.
“People give to people” isn’t a catchphrase; it’s a powerful force that propels campaigns to success. It taps into the profound psychology of philanthropy, underscoring the pivotal role personal connections play in inspiring generosity. It’s a journey through emotional resonance, trust-building, and the creation of a tangible link between contributions and impact. To harness this power, empower peer fundraisers to share real, authentic stories, highlight individual impacts, cultivate a sense of community, and shower donors with personalized recognition.
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