Lesson 8

Why do private donors make charitable contributions? (Donor Motivation)

  • Men & women both say they give because of “compassion towards people in need”
  • Women endorse: “been personally affected/know someone personally affected”[1]
  • People give because they are asked
  • People give because of who asks them
  • People give because they have benefited and want to give back
  • People give because they want to make a difference
  • People give because they have a personal interest in the cause
  • People give because they feel obliged
  • People give because they know someone who has been personally affected


Take five minutes and write down all the charitable contributions you have made and why you made them.

Are any of your reasons the same as those listed above?

Tip: When getting ready to ask donors to make a contribution to your archives, remember the reasons people give and try to position your ask to meet the donors needs.

[1] Statistics Canada and A Portrait of Canada’s Charities published in 1994 by CCP