Friday, June 27, 2014

What Does the Donor Say?

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving, Community First Foundation

For several years now, I have been telling people the stories of what we hear from donors. But honestly, it is anecdotal only. We all know that I am not going to hear stories from all of our donors – as much as I would welcome that.

We decided to find out what our donors thought of our messaging and, more importantly, why they donated on Colorado Gives Day. Segmenting out donors who gave to ten or more nonprofits last year on Colorado Gives Day, we sent them ten questions to better understand their experience with the day.

For me, the best question was, “If you plan to give again on Colorado Gives Day this year, do you expect to donate to different nonprofits?” The answers validated for me why I truly love this program and what I do every day.

From those who responded, we heard that 39% expect to give to different nonprofits this year. The reasons included the fact that we keep adding more nonprofits each year, because it is fun, because it is my duty, and because I have more to give.

But some of the answers surprised me. One person said that “one of the pleasant aspects of Colorado Gives Day this year was challenging friends to give to my favorite and then 'trading' donations with theirs.” 

What a great idea! This is a great way to learn about new nonprofits and expand your giving. It is also fun to hear the stories of why your friends are excited about these groups.

Another comment that caught my eye was a grandmother who talked about giving to her favorites the rest of the year and spending Colorado Gives Day teaching her grandson about philanthropy. It is his Christmas present from her. They “search out worthy and interesting organizations that fuel his passion.” I too did this with my nephew and it was fun to talk through why he was excited about a particular group and what he thinks about donating.

Whatever the reason you give on Colorado Gives Day, I am thankful that you do. It is honestly one of my favorite days of the year. It is exciting to watch the dollars, but for me it is even more fun to hear the stories – why people gave and how the nonprofits benefited from these donations. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 9!