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Why donors care about results, but still don’t want to do research

July 7, 2010

Why, since donors admit they don’t do much research, do they still feel good about their own giving but sceptical about nonprofit performance in general? Greg Ulrich of Hope Consulting recently continued a discussion about this topic on Tactical Philanthropy, based on a recent report in Money for Good.

Like most of us, Ulrich says, donors like what they like — in other words, they believe “the nonprofits to which they donate perform very well.” Even if they wonder whether nonprofits as a group are effective, they don’t seem to have doubts about the ones they care about — maybe because they volunteer with those groups or have benefited from the group’s efforts or because they have seen the group’s efforts over many years.

And that means many donors are not motivated to do more research, And that means they can’t feel confident about branching out to other organizations, unless they receive an endorsement from another trusted source, whether it’s their best buddy from college or from their local Community Foundation.

That’s what we have seen here, as the donors who want to do more and to branch out in new directions turn to our Director of Donor Relations as a way to discover which nonprofits are doing great work already. Through site visits and reports from Community Foundation grantmaking, they gain a trusted resource that will help them make a better investment from their philanthropy capital.

If that’s where you stand, contact Kathryn Corey to find out more or check out our website for lists of nonprofits who have received the seal of our approval for previous grants.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. alison2012internship permalink
    July 9, 2012 5:21 pm

    I think donors may be hesitant to branch out to other organizations for several reasons. For one, their current donations may act as a sort of commitment or feeling of obligation to continue giving to the nonprofit. And another: people may not try to do their research in fear of discovering that their money could have been put in a better place. Donating means ones loses some of their resources, so discovering this could be an unsettling thing.

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