Why People Choose Not to Give

It’s difficult to imagine the kind of world we would live in if people never volunteered their time, money, or services in an effort to aide others. Without the generosity of those who give, many volunteer and nonprofit groups who help millions of lives each day would likely be unable to operate. As a nation, the total amount that we donated to charitable organizations in 2015 was $373.25 billion, up nearly 25 billion from the year before, and the number is steadily rising. More and more people are choosing every day to share some of their wealth with those who are less fortunate and struggling to make ends meet. While this is certainly amazing, there are still many people who choose not to help others through donating their time and money. Here are a few of the reasons why people choose not to give to charity.

  • They feel removed from the problem.

When people hear about a tragedy happening in another area or nation, while they likely feel pity over the tragedy, it’s less likely to affect them than a tragedy close to home would. As a species, we have evolved to care the most for those who are the closest to us, so when things happen in places we’ve never been to people we’ve never met, it’s more difficult to connect to the victims. Help people see how a devastating blow to any of us can be a devastating blow to all of us and get them involved in giving to others.

  • They don’t believe their donation will make a difference.

To the average, middle class American, parting with $10 doesn’t seem like all that much, just like it doesn’t seem $10 will be able to bring about any change. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. First and foremost, if every person who donated a small sum of money had chosen not to give, the dollars and cents lost would add up very quickly; there’s no such thing as ‘too small’ of a donation when all who donate to a particular cause are working towards the same goal. Second, the cost of necessities like food and water in areas of dire need are often far below our costs of living; for just $2 you can “provide 7 children with micronutrient fortification for 1 year” and for just $3 you can protect someone for 3-4 years from malaria.

  • They need their money for themselves.

To suggest that you should donate all or even most of the money you make to charity would be ill-advised and likely perpetuate poverty problems overtime. While you need enough money to be able to support and sustain a stable life for your family, try giving up a little so that you can give others a lot. Do you splurge every day on a high-priced coffee? Skip one day a week and donate that money instead. Find little ways that you can reduce what you use by just a little so you can help others by giving them a whole lot.

How to Target Businesses for Donations

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Fundraising can be tricky. While you may be supporting a fantastic and beneficial cause that could change lives, it can be difficult to get people to part from their hard-earned money to help it out. When looking for charitable benefactors, there are definitely right and wrong ways to go about courting donations. If you’re unsure how to even start looking for donators, check out these few tips on targeting specific businesses for donations.

  • Determine which business to target.

If you’re running a nonprofit in your local area, chances are that the businesses within the same area will be the best ones to target. If you need help knowing where to even start, visit your local Chamber of Commerce (and join if you haven’t already) where they’ll be able to provide you with lists of businesses and information surrounding them. From there, narrow down your list. Identify companies with whom you do business, and capitalize upon your already existing relationship. Determine which businesses have a history of donating or have higher ups on the boards of other nonprofits. Businesses who have a history of benevolence will be more likely to lend aid to your cause.

  • Do your research.

Just like in a job interview, finding out as much as you can about the business before you meet with them can make a literal world of difference. Having background knowledge of the business and gathering information on the people with whom you’ll be meeting can help you tailor your speech or presentation to target them individually. Also, it can be helpful to find out if the business has a history of donating to nonprofits and if any board members or executives do charity work or are involved with other organizations. Meeting with people who are already involved in the world of philanthropy and nonprofits can be a huge foot in the door and make it easier for you

  • Go in person.

The best way to get someone to donate their time or money for a cause is by humanizing your cause, and what better way to humanize something than by putting a face to it. By greeting your potential donors face to face, you allow yourself to become a spokesperson for the organization and can represent it in a personal way that an email, gift basket, or pledge drive never could. Putting a face to the cause can help you stand out in the sea of nonprofits and can make your cause more relatable.