Are you a giver? What kind of giver are you?
I’m taking a master’s level class at Virginia Commonwealth University in fundraising for nonprofits and we are reading the textbook “Fundraising Principles and Practices” (John Wiley & Sons, 2010). There is a chapter on major gift fundraising and the book mentions a study by Prince and File (1994) who developed “The Seven Faces of Philanthropy” framework, which segments wealthy donors into seven motivational types:
The Communitarian: 26 percent. The largest segment. They give because it makes sense to do so. They believe in actively supporting local nonprofits as a way to help their own communities prosper.
The Devout: 21 percent. This group is motivated to give for religious reasons, and almost all of their giving is channeled to religious organizations.
The Investor: 15 percent. Investors organize their giving to take advantage of tax and estate benefits. They are most likely to support “umbrella” nonprofits and donate to a wide range of causes.
The Socialite: 11 percent. Socialites are members of local social networks who find social functions that benefit nonprofits an especially appealing way to help make a better world, and they have a good time doing it. They tend to support the arts, education, and religious groups.
The Altruist: 9 percent. Altruists embody the perception of the selfless donor, who gives out of generosity and empathy to urgent causes and often modestly wishes to remain anonymous. They tend to give to social causes and tend not to want active roles in the groups they support.
The Repayer: 10 percent. A typical Repayer has personally benefited from some institution and now supports that institution out of a feeling of loyalty or obligation.
The Dynast: 8 percent. For these donors, doing good is a family tradition. Giving is something their family has stood for and they believe it is expected of them also to support nonprofits.
“These groupings can be used by practitioners to categorize donors and prospects, to prepare cases for support and responses to questions that donors might have, and to plan appropriate recognition,” according to the text.
Now, I’m not a “major donor” by any stretch, but I give my time. Of the above seven, I consider myself The Repayer. I certainly feel obligated to give my time and what little money I can offer to nonprofit organizations that likely take care of something I care about — especially the James River Park. I get involved and give more of my time than anything, but I certainly feel like I’m a part of the effort, and my donation gives me a little ownership of the cause along the way.
What kind of giver are you? There is no wrong answer and no one is judging anybody. Is your “Face” something that is not on this list?