love or money people 1200x700 2 For love or money: perspectives of a serial giver

For love or money: perspectives of a serial giver

I love to give. It’s in my DNA.

In 2016, my team and I gave hundreds of hours of our time. Our motivation to give is that it makes us feel good. It’s personal. We’re motivated by having a love for the cause.

Of those hours, the bulk of our ‘give’ tend to be advisory, supported by dedicating studio time for our team to apply their skills to projects meant to help others become more successful online and off.

While our 2016 causes share a theme of family, children and community, there’s another reason for giving that many people (especially charities) often overlook. You can imagine of course that if I’m volunteering, I’m providing time. If I’m advising, I’m providing knowledge. But if I’m paying – make no mistake about it – I’m making a purchase.

Slowly, ever so slowly, fundraising is emerging from its Dark Ages of reliance on myth, tribal wisdom and so-called “best practices.” More and more, it’s no longer acceptable to make and defend decisions on an “I think” basis with no empirical backup.

The increase in the application of behavioral science research to fundraising, the easy and inexpensive availability of predictive analytics, and the growth in numbers of fundraisers who actually understand numbers represent significant advances out of the swamp of guesswork and myth… Roger Craver and Tom Belford, editors, The Agitator – Source: 40 Non-profit Trends for 2017

Giving to charities and non-profits is a great way to build your brand, and larger sponsors know this well

Not to say this type of giving isn’t rooted in love, but in the corporate world it’s done for gain. An investment in a well known charity usually means exposure to its people, its partners, and growing good will in the community. It’s a media buy.

When developing a corporate sponsorship package, go beyond marketing your special events. Our experience has shown that developing an integrated corporate marketing program better serves the organization and its corporate partners. – Barbara Talisman

This type of give is focused on the ROI.


They’ll be asking… Is it a good investment? Is the opportunity temporary or sustainable? Do we share target audiences and is the cause relevant to my business? Will my brand exposure or audience grow as a result of our alignment? What impact will my investment have on how people perceive my company or brand?

If the answers to those questions are positive, the asker need only demonstrate a shared alignment for givers to do so, generously.

In this case, it’s not personal, it’s business.

In case you are curious, KAYAK’s 2016 volunteer and partnership efforts include…

  • San Diego SIDS, a non-profit that offers preventative information and supports parents of children lost to sudden infant death syndrome
  • Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, which works to help families get into their first homes and build a stable life for their children
  • and the Steamboat Mountain Music Festival, a family focused event in BC’s Windermere Valley.

So tell me, what’s your motivation for giving? Is it personal or business; love or money? Neither is wrong. The only wrong is not giving.

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