Advice from a ‘Listen to your Heart’ Giver

This week, I came across a quiz from United Way of Greater Knoxville titled “What’s your Giving Style?“ Interested in knowing what kind of giver I would be pegged as, I immediately began the interactive quiz. I answered questions ranging from my favorite movie to the first thing I do when I wake up. I can’t quite figure out how choosing a favorite celeb aligns with the way that I donate, but somehow I was given the title of a “listen to your heart” giver. I was then given a series of information about the organization’s clients and a link to an emotionally driven video explaining the importance of afterschool programs and the lack of opportunity for such programs for urban youth in the Knoxville area. As a fundraiser myself, I can logically understand and appreciate the methods of using emotional videos and personalized call to action to encourage donation, but here’s the crazy thing: I actually donated. It was a small donation out of my poor college student budget, but it was a donation nonetheless. The given information and video touched my heart and that’s when it hit me that this quiz might have me all figured out.

Does donating to an organization across the country based on a simple quiz make me a sucker? Perhaps, but it is us “suckers” or “listen to your heart” givers, as we prefer, who are the target donors of your nonprofit, that is if you can reach our hearts.

From a “listen to your heart” giver herself, here are 3 tips on winning our hearts:

  1. Make us feel like we can make a difference

When given my quiz results, I was told that donating or volunteering could “give others chance to make memories.” Being told that I could make such a positive impact made me a feel a sort of responsibility to do something. Us “listen to your heart” givers can’t pass up an opportunity to know that our individual contribution can do something great. Sometimes we all like to feel important.

  1. Don’t bring numbers into it

I don’t know if this a quality of a “listen to your heart “ giver or a quality of a student who never excelled at math, but numbers will very rarely get me to donate. One or two statistics might make a small impact, but it doesn’t compare to a personal story. When it came to donating to United Way of Greater Knoxville, I did not make my donation to the 12,000 urban youth who do not have access to afterschool programs. I made my donation to Faith, the adorable 4th grader in the video who was given opportunity for a greater life because of the organization. She was more than a statistic. She was a person with a heart like my own.

  1. Listen to your own heart to connect with ours

If you work for a nonprofit, chances are you’re passionate about what you do. Ask yourself why you care and share your answer with the world. If it touches your heart, it will probably touch ours too.

Find out your giving style and take the quiz!

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