Why do people give (or why don’t they give)? It’s one of the most, if not the most, fundamental questions in fundraising. And perhaps more specifically, why does that person give? Donors can often get lumped into big buckets by what they do (give online, give at certain levels, etc.) or demographics (where they live, their age, etc.) but just because two people give $100 or are 55 years old, it doesn’t mean that they give for the same reasons. That why is much harder to figure out.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. And that was the focus of a book called The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. In it, the authors create some giving personalities of donors (major gifts focus) based more around their interests and reasons why they gave as opposed to who they were and how they gave. The practical application is that if we can categorize donors, or potential donors, into smaller ‘groups’ based on motivations, fundraising efforts can then be more targeted to those needs and desires leading to more giving and a better connection between cause and supporter. It’s marketing 101 kind of stuff I realize, but there hasn’t been (and still hasn’t been…) a ton of work done along these lines. Here’s what they found:

The Seven Faces of Philanthropy

Do you think these 7 groups are still relevant today? Accurate picture of your donors? Whether these exact 7 fit or not, the idea of moving beyond categorization based on what people give and how they give to more of the why and motivations behind their giving is imperative. You can read more about what the different faces are and mean and take a short quiz based here. And speaking of quizzes you can also take the…

What’s Your Giving Personality? Quiz

This fun little ‘quiz’ can help you and your supporters discover a bit more about giving habits and chip away at that why behind giving.


You can read the full giving personality post here and take the original INFOGRAPHIC quiz here.