Each of your donors are giving to you for good reasons. If you know what’s driving them, you’re at an advantage when you ask for their support.

In the world of fundraising, they say, donors give for two reasons:

  1. Because of you.


  1. Because of your cause.

Sometimes they’re giving more because of you. And sometimes more because of your cause.

Today, I want to simplify (always a risk!) the main drives that cause your donors to give to you and to your cause.

Knowing this will help you focus your attention on your best potential and, so you can grow your most committed donors. 

The basis for this idea is a 2010 study by Hope Consulting. It splits donors into six ‘giving drives,’ which inspire their giving. Each of our donors fits primarily into one of six donor drives. 

The ‘RePayer’ Giver. There are donors who give because you or your organization has impacted their life or the life of a loved one. 

You can identify them when they say:

They are my top priority in tzedakah, they were mekarev me.”

If it wasn’t because of this organization, I don’t where my grandson would be today, they deserve my support!

The ‘Make a Difference’ Giver. They give because they see or feel that their donation makes a clear difference. Or they gives because with their support a project or outcome can happen that would not have otherwise.  

For example, a donor who offers a challenge grant, who funds a scholarship or who gives to a specific project rather than a general donation.

You can identify them when they say:

I only give to organizations where I feel I can make a difference.

I give to specific projects where I see my support is needed.

The ‘Personal Ties’ Giver. Gives because of the personal connection they have to the cause.

You can identify them when they say:

“I’ve been learning with the rabbi for a year, he has a great project which I support”

“A lifelong friend founded a kiruv project which I give generously to.”

The ‘Outcomes’ Giver. Gives because your organization can show how it is generating measurable outcomes in its segment of the Jewish world.

You can identify them when they say:

I give to projects where they are using my funds to impact more people.”

I give to projects where they have a matrix mapped out for moving people in their Jewish observance.

The ‘Hashkafa or Social’ Giver. Gives because your organization shares his hashkafa or social network.

You can identify them when they say:

We give to our shul and yeshiva.

I support yeshivas; kiruv is important, but my priority is to support our own mosdos.

“We are a part of their committee along with all our friends.”

The ‘Casual’ Giver. Gives because they are asked. Most, if not all of their gifts are on the smaller and medium size.

You can identify them when they say:

I primarily give to well-known Jewish organizations, when they send out a mailing.

“I go to their dinner each year.”

For most of us, our largest donors will be the – ‘RePayer,’ ‘Make a Difference,’ ‘Personal Ties’ and ‘Outcomes’ givers.

To make these donor drivers more real for you, jot down answers to the following questions:

  • Which one of the six drives most represents each of your top 10 donors?
  • How should you alter the way you solicit your donors knowing their primary drives?
  • When attracting new donors, how will you use these six donor drives to help you?

Feel free to email me with your questions. I will reply to all your emails.

Have a great summer! 


Avraham Lewis guides Jewish leaders, running their own projects or organizations, to change their current reality and ‘up’ their fundraising game and personal productivity, through effective mindsets, strategies and techniques, that have a track record of raising more funds. 

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