6 reasons why some donors prefer to stay anonymous

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Philanthropy Blog Post - Why you need to think of yourself as a facilitator

In case you’ve ever wondered why some donors prefer to stay anonymous, here are 6 proven reasons why:

1. They do not want fundraisers from other organizations to ask them for money (this is the #1 reason according to the Center on Philanthropy study conducted in 1991 titled “Survey on Anonymous Giving”)
2. They have religious reasons for anonymity (this is the #2 reason according to the same survey study mentioned above)
3. They get pleasure from giving, not from being thanked for their donations
4. They are humble/shy and simply don’t want notoriety because it makes them uncomfortable
5. They might even be sort of embarrassed about their level of wealth (especially if they did not earn the money)
6. They do not want fundraisers from the organization to which they gave to harass them and ask them for more money

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3 responses to “6 reasons why some donors prefer to stay anonymous”

  1. Sheila Hard says:

    I can’t afford to give at a level that would enable me to keep my identity undisclosed (i.e., through a DAF), but I’d like to add something that may be considered a “stand alone” point but is more likely a blend of #3 and #6: we don’t want a lot of “thank you crap”. I find it annoying to make a simple contribution, only to be told I’m now a “member” of the organization and be sent a membership card and a packet of goodies.

  2. Dale says:

    An area I found missing in the list was the fact that some donors are concerned about family knowledge, and therefore they don’t want their children (in large part) to know. I have even been asked to solicit family members separately, because they did not want the other members of the family to see their level of impact even within a larger family gift.

  3. Jeanine says:

    Thanks! I hadn’t even thought about option #5 before.

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