Organizations must decide every day whether to launch a new project, whether to try to utilize new technologies for fundraising, and how to approach new and potential supporters for funding. Donors must assess competing approaches and programs to decide how best to effect the change they want to see in the world. Strategizing where to take risks and who will be receptive to those opportunities is a constant balancing act for both sides. While trust and organizational impact are both important; how do donors weigh the value of each in making philanthropic choices? Do religious donors expect the religious organizations they support to benefit primarily their own, or all in need? Must an American Jewish organization primarily serve Jews in order to attract Jewish support? Who might be most willing to fund a new, unproven initiative?


This report, the sixth in the Connected to Give series, looks towards the future by exploring donors' expectations regarding the organizations they support. The proliferation of nonprofits and of technologies through which to support them has given donors more choice than ever in their giving. This report assesses donors' risk tolerance, and seeks to understand the importance of organizational trustworthiness and track records in donor decision-making. Donors also are operating in an increasingly borderless world, where their personal charitable choices can impact issues large and small, near and far. With so many options, donors are pressed to decide which causes matter most to them, and which organizations and strategies are most relevant to their charitable goals

Connected to Give: Risk And Relevance
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