I was asked to write a blog post about Philanthropy as Director of Philanthropy here at Hoyleton Youth and Family Services. A blog? How do I put philanthropic efforts in a blog? For over 25 years I have been trained, mentored, and guided that philanthropy is all about relationships, communication, and the purpose of the organization. That being said, grab a cup of coffee and let me share what motivates a donor – remember that if I call you for a visit, it's just to learn more about you, and what makes you feel excited about your favorite charity – which I hope is Hoyleton.
First, donors love mission-based organizations. They need to believe in the cause and if the organization proves they are deserving of trust and dedication the donor continues to support them. Dependability and consistency are important – we have to be true to our word as organizations.
Making a difference - a lot of donors want to feel like their donation has a direct impact in improvements within the organization. At Hoyleton we do our best to share our children's experiences and success stories in treatment. HIPPA rules often make it difficult but we want our donors to embrace our youth's stories and display how you make a difference! Joy and happiness that is produced from generosity has shown to activate dopamine. Dopamine is produced in the brain and allows feelings of enjoyment and pleasure. Sharing makes you feel good and can make you feel better than you do after exercising.
Family traditions, where the act of giving is passed down from generation to generation affects the decisions in the honoring of a donor that has supported an organization during their life. The behaviors taught at a young age of showing kindness and generosity stay with us into adulthood. This act of educating your family on organizations you cherish and support, is the legacy that you are passing on through the simple act of educating your family on your desire to support missions and organizations you believe have an impact on the greater good in society.
Donating is an emotional act. Connecting you to the personal stories allows us to put a human connection to what we do here at Hoyleton – it’s essential that as a philanthropic director, I connect you with the personal feelings that you have to our services we deliver at Hoyleton, whether they are new, current, or services from our past, you have connected to us and our mission.
Everyone believes in goodwill, caring for others and supporting charities. Personal beliefs based on your religious values also gives you a strong connection to an organization. At Hoyleton and our founding under the United Church of Christ, allows us to connect to churches and the UCC across the country. In the 2017, the report from Giving USA discovered that giving to a Religion happens in 62 percent of American households. They give to a charity of some kind, whether it is religious or secular.
A new kind of donor partnership has evolved from the influence of social media, technology, and online donations. Peer to peer giving has increased and generates enthusiasm among like-minded individuals and also about Hoyleton. Seeing a goal being reached as a social community on Facebook or any other platform, allows inclusion, excitement, and joy!
And lastly, people also give to receive tax benefits. While the tax benefit is not as common as it used to be, many people continue to give because they have formed a relationship with their charity.
Having said all this, people give for many reasons. We know that the number one way of creating a relationship with a donor is through connections and conversations. A cup of coffee can open up a range of opportunities for the donor and Hoyleton. The main goal, I have is to make sure you, our donor, understand you are appreciated, valued, treasured, and needed. I looking forward to seeing how our relationship can translate to a donation that will help Hoyleton and, more importantly, how it can match with your desire to make a difference!
Director of Development and Philanthropy