With so much published about how to raise funds and fundraising. I often wonder about the essence of fundraising: How much do we know about the reasons why people give? I often ask people what they think about Giving and those who give. Moreover, I have to admit I do get wonderful answers, but often not substantial enough.

Most of the Philanthropists I worked with through the three decades and in three continents are Self-Made Philanthropists (SMPs). They either evolved into Philanthropists, or they had something ignite the Philanthropist in them.

Because Philanthropists are so phenomenally unusual, it is important to understand “Fundraising” from the perspective of Philanthropists. Frankly, most people in the nonprofit world know more about their projects and causes than about their prospective donors or how to approach them. In my considerable experience, not knowing why Philanthropists give limits your ability and your organization.

Philanthropists give because there is a Giving Tradition around them. This giving tradition is often related to their family. Many of us feel we have a giving tradition we follow and try to instill in our successors.  Giving Tradition is a current and reoccurring phenomenon. It used to be a personal phenomenon; Philanthropists share with friends and family. However, what happens when a person with deep family tradition brings these with him or her to his workplace? Take a look at the example of Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi. To my mind, a leader of a corporation with a deep tradition of giving can impact the entire enterprise and turn the conglomerate Philanthropic.

Read the full article about why philanthropists give by Michael Steiner at Medium.