Friday, July 26, 2013

Get Out of the Way of Individual Donations

Something strange happened when businesses offered to help out funding Mardi Gras following the Hurricane Katrina destruction in New Orleans: Although it was the New Orleans city government which had asked for the help, the city’s residents didn’t like the offers.
     Consumer behavior researchers at Northwestern University and University of Arizona-Tucson say the resistance came from feelings outsiders would be ruining traditions of individual, local ownership of Mardi Gras. Although most of the world might consider Mardi Gras crass debauchery, most locals see it differently. They look forward to socializing at the parades in the ways that they and those they know have been doing for a long time. Without commercials. There’s a longtime ban on corporate funding and business logos in the parades. Funding comes from wealthy New Orleans benefactors and the Krewes—individuals who band together.
     Five studies at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, University of St. Thomas, and University of Minnesota indicate this phenomenon is by no means limited to New Orleans residents or city parades. When prospective individual donors are told that a large corporation is contributing to a nonprofit organization, donation interest among those individuals wanes. The feeling sets in that the individual donations won’t make as much of a difference as with nonprofits who are not benefactors of corporate largesse.
     Small to midsize retail businesses are not large corporations, so the effect is weaker when you donate. Still, be aware that you want to donate in ways which will encourage, not discourage, individuals from donating on their own. One way, say the researchers, is to describe how the objectives of your retailing match the objectives of the communities in which the prospective donors live and work.
     Related to this, studies at University of Minnesota, University of South Carolina, and University of Georgia support the importance of pairing the charity partner with the personality of the business. But these researchers, too, found something strange happened: Shoppers in luxury stores were more comfortable when the store included among their main partners charities supporting traditional causes, such as basics and conservation.
     If these luxury stores include a symphony orchestra or art exhibit among their nonprofit grantees, those stores should also highlight their continuing association with a charity providing food, shelter, and education to disadvantaged populations.
     However, the research indicated that stores selling commodities don’t need to include charity partners promoting self-enhancement. Still, keep enough donations local.

Click below for more: 
Donate In Ways that Encourage Others to Donate 
Collapse to Soles When Asking for Money 
Differentiate Yourself in Charity Sponsorship

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