‘Tis the Season

It’s again that time of year where we begin to put emphasis on stuff.  What stuff can we get all of our loved ones?  While the holiday season is one of joy it is also important to acknowledge those who do not have others to give them stuff.  The debate begins again: To donate to charity or not.

To some people this is a no brainer but to others there are reservations about donating that are quite valid.  In an article from The NonProfit Times written by Allison Fine she explains why people may have these reservations when donating their time or money.

In the end there is naughty, nice and a little bit greedy.  While there are some who donate to charity in complete anonymity and wish to keep it that way there are others who feel that a donation of their time or money should be more than that.  Fine explains that people would rather feel less like donors and more like individuals.

When people donate their time or money they value that sense of closure.  How can you show me I made a difference?  It’s a valid question, which often goes unanswered for a number of reasons.

“It happens because of the overwhelming pressure on organizations to meet their financial goals.” Fine states.  Not-for-profit organizations often believe that they must grow their business to which Fine argues they should better connect with their donors or individuals.nonprofit_image

Here are some ways for the not-for-profit organizations to better themselves with their donors:

  • Thanking individuals through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in the form of shoutouts
  • Tell stories not testimonials.  Stories relate people with other people.  Testimonies push a product and are often hard to relate to.
  • Include donors in decision processes.  Linking a poll out to Twitter using easypolls.net or pollcode.com and getting feedback from donors gives them a desire to contribute because of their participation in the process.

During this holiday season donors across the country will have to decide exactly what they want in return from their not-for-profit.  The financial pressure to grow will remain a constant during the holiday season for these organizations but the donor will ultimately choose.  There are plenty of things for the public to look for but for those who seek recognition they may simply have to do a bit more research on these nonprofit organizations.

In other words, you get what you put in.

To get you started.  Here are some non-profits that publicly recognize their donors.

World Food Programme (www.wfp.org)

Do Something (www.dosomething.org)

Charity: Water (www.charitywater.org)

Teach for America (www.teachforamerica.org)