Conference Program

Conference Program

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TRACK • Middle, Major & Philanthropy

The Charitable Triad: How characteristics of donors, beneficiaries and fundraisers all influence giving

Friday 24 Feb 2023 - 12:10 pm to 1:10 pm

  • General Fundraiser (all fundraisers)

Fundraisers may be tempted to focus our energy on donors: finding the most generous people and making sure they know about our cause. However, giving is a social phenomenon. To understand why people give, we must therefore understand their social context. For this reason, fundraisers need to consider not only donors but also how the characteristics of both beneficiaries and fundraisers can affect who gives, when, and why.

As an academic with a PhD in donor psychology, I have developed a new theory—Charitable Triad Theory—that outlines the ways in which characteristics of donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers (both individuals and brands) can affect charitable decisions. I’ll provide a brief overview of the theory before presenting evidence from various research studies that demonstrate how the Charitable Triad works in action. I’ll make the talk as practical as possible, with ideas for how fundraisers can use the Charitable Triad as a guiding framework to plan their fundraising strategy, market segmentation, and campaign copy and design.

Middle, Major and Philanthropy Track Sponsored By:


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