This is series from Bloomerang called Why I Donated. In each post, one donor will share what inspired them to make their donation and why they donated to that specific cause. Our hope is that this series will provide you with an even better understanding of the people who can help you move your mission forward.
In this post, we talk to Kwynn, a Policy Enforcement Manager in Salt Lake City, Utah, who donated $400 to Voices for Utah Children.
The Donor: Kwynn
The Donation: Kwynn made a one-time gift of $400 to the nonprofit. Her company matched her donation, which means the nonprofit ultimately received $800 total.
The Cause: Social Services | See how we help social services organizations move their missions forward.
The Nonprofit: Voices for Utah Children
What inspired you to make a donation to Voices for Utah Children?
I’ve felt called more and more to find ways to contribute within my local community. There will be worthy causes in every corner of the world, but I want to start with where I live and support my neighbors.
In general, my decision to donate to a nonprofit depends on 1) ease of making the donation (e.g. a round up when checking out, connecting my Amazon account through Amazon Smile, etc.), 2) the cause the organization is supporting, and 3) if the organization’s work is aligned with my personal values.
Were you familiar with the organization before donating?
Not much, no. I did some quick Google searches of causes I care about (homelessness, youth in need, organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community). I then went to a couple websites to learn more about the organizations that came up during my searches.
How did you decide on the amount you donated? Was it a recurring or one-time donation?
The company I work for, Google, gave employees $400 to donate to a nonprofit organization and then promised to match it. I was excited to know I could direct an $800 donation to an organization in my area.
It was a one-time donation, but I’m going to look into where I can send monthly donations. The only “recurring” donation I contribute to right now is Equality Utah through Amazon Smile. I like that it’s automatic and a one-time thing—I just link my Amazon account and then I don’t have to think about it again.
How did the nonprofit acknowledge the donation? How did you feel about that acknowledgement?
For example, if the receipt confirmation email arrived immediately, you might have felt confident that you gave to an organization that operates efficiently. If you received a welcome email series telling you more about the nonprofit, you might have grown more attached to the cause.
I do enjoy getting an email or a card in the mail acknowledging the donation, but it’s not a must-have. Last year, I chose to donate the $400 to The Women’s Center in Fort Worth, Texas. I actually received a handwritten card from them a couple weeks ago, thanking me for the donation. It was a little funny because it was so long after the fact, but it was still a nice gesture and I appreciated it.
Getting an email confirmation immediately would make me confident that 1) the donation was received and 2) the organization operates efficiently.
I also like when organizations say, “Because you donated $X, it will lead to [insert a specific result like being able to provide housing to an unhoused child for one month].” I like when they show how your dollars work.
Do you intend to donate to the nonprofit again in the future?
What would inspire you to make another donation to the nonprofit? What would inspire you to increase your donation amount?
Having a personal interaction with the nonprofit, whether through their website, their social media page, or volunteering in person.
Is there anything you’d like to add that would help a nonprofit better understand why you donated or that would make you feel more valued?
One thing that’s frustrating is when there’s an organization that I really want to support, but it isn’t accessible for me to do so. Let’s say they’re posting about needs for the youth they serve but only allow you to drop off items in person and you have to sign up for an appointment to do so. Because I work full-time and have a family, making an appointment and getting there in person with items isn’t easy. I’d happily buy $100 worth of stuff on an Amazon Wish List for them that would get shipped to them, but that didn’t appear to be an option so I haven’t contributed to that specific organization yet.
My advice would be to make it as easy as possible for people to donate. If you’re talking about what your organization needs on Instagram, for example, include your Venmo handle or a link to your Amazon Wish List.
Also, I do a lot of one-off donations when I see a cause that does important work, makes a specific ask, and makes it easy to donate. For instance, a local organization posted about needing food items to complete Thanksgiving baskets for the community. They put up their Venmo handle, and I sent them $25. Easy, fast, and hopefully helped a little bit.
Finally, I found one organization I was interested in donating to, but I couldn’t tell from their website if they were still active and doing work in the community. It didn’t look like it had been updated in years, I couldn’t find anything they’d worked on recently, etc. It didn’t give me confidence that my money would be going anywhere. That’s an important thing I look for when considering which nonprofit to support.