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We’ve often heard people say that it’s only worth giving to a non-profit if you can give in larger amounts. We’ve chatted with people who want to have an impact but feel their $5 or $10 is too inconsequential to make a difference. However we’ve also worked with non-profits who talk non-stop about how their goals are focused on increasing the number of donors, and not just the donation amount, because it really does take a village. While it may feel defeating to give only a few dollars when you hear stories of million-dollar donations, most non-profits will tell you that it’s those small donations that keep them afloat.
Getting the Money
Think about this. While it’s nice for a non-profit to get a significantly large donation, that donation didn’t just come in overnight. Likely, that donation was the result of many people’s efforts and much time before the donor was willing to part with a large amount of money. In the meantime, that non-profit needs day-to-day funds for its programs to keep them afloat. It’s small donors that make up this difference.
The Maintenance of Donors
Another thing to consider is that high-dollar donors often require a lot of “maintenance.” Typically, these donors want individual attention and customized reports on how their money is being used. These special requests take time away from other important projects, and as many non-profits run on lean staff to save money, time is a very precious commodity. Smaller donations don’t require as much maintenance and reporting and engagement at this level can usually be automated so that the organization’s staff can focus on the more important work of serving the mission.
The Importance of Exposure
Having a larger army of supporters can also benefit a non-profit, no matter how much each person gives. The more people that know about a non-profit and its work, the more people they will share that non-profit’s story with. Growing impact and increasing fundraising to support that impact is dependent on exposure and increasing the number of people who know about and connect to the mission of the organization. The more people who support the organization, the more exposure it’ll get.
Katherine Firestone, the Founder of Fireborn Institute, agrees. As she says, “Every little bit helps…I’ve even asked for donations of $1. It’s really not the amount of one single donation that makes or breaks a fundraising campaign for us – it’s more about how many people see the campaign, or just see Fireborn in general. Donations are fantastic and we obviously need them as a nonprofit (and we would love large contributions of course – haha!), but what we also really need is visibility. We want to get our name out there so we can help more families.”
At One For Women, we believe that small gestures do have big impact. That’s why a portion of sales from each of our gift sets goes back to non-profit organizations that we support. We believe that together, we can make a difference. Each small donation will get us one step closer to a very big impact.