Giving Compass’ Take:
• Research from ideas42, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reveals how to increase the generosity, intentionality, and impact of American philanthropy.
• How can organizations use this information to activate donors?
• Learn about the core tenants of impact-driven philanthropy.
We’re reimagining how better design can help everyday donors fulfill their true altruistic intentions.
- Can activating donor identities encourage people to be more consistently philanthropic? Donor-Advised Funds offer clients a tax-efficient way to make and manage their charitable giving. But does the unique structure of the funds encourage donors to put off giving decisions? We use a simple message to activate donor identities and create a sense of urgency to realign donors with their true giving intentions.
- Would framing unused incentives as missed opportunities prompt donors to be more generous? An increasing number employees can now conduct their charitable giving through the workplace, with many being offered matching opportunities by their organizations. However, despite these incentives, workplace giving programs are often underutilized. We identify the right moments to highlight giving opportunities and emphasize unused incentives to encourage employees to take full advantage of available resources.
- Do giving goals help people think more holistically about their charitable actions? Donors are generous when asked to support a cause or respond to a sudden need. But many people lack an explicit plan for how much they would like to give over the course of a year, potentially undermining their overall altruism. Through a workplace giving platform, we offer employees behaviorally informed goal-setting tools to help them be more thoughtful about their donations and reach higher levels of philanthropy.
- Can curating charities lead donors to be more generous and select more effective organizations? With over a million charities in the United States, selecting an organization to support can be an overwhelming experience for many donors. Information on these charities is often limited and metrics are usually hard to compare, complicating the choice further. We simplify the choice through the use of expertly curated lists around specific cause areas to help donors choose well and with confidence.
Philanthropy is exceptionally personal, and the motivations behind why people decide to give can vary widely. To adapt Tolstoy, every generous family is generous in its own way. But while interests may differ, there are some common features in how Americans approach their charitable giving. Specifically, for many, giving is often impulsive and emotional—a reaction to an evocative solicitation or a response to a sudden need. Certainly, this practice is beneficial for charitable causes, generating in 2016 over $282 billion in donations from individuals across the country. In fact, everyday givers are the driving force behind philanthropy in the U.S., accounting for over 72% of charitable dollars and far outpacing giving from foundations and corporations.