When you boil it all down, there are really just 4 types of givers you need to understand for your fundraising efforts.
1- Impulse givers. Impulse givers don’t think about their donation very much. They may toss some spare change into a bucket. They may throw some coins into a fiddlers instrument case. Or they may write a check to a canvasser from the fire department as she goes door to door to raise money for new ladders.
2- Buyers. Buyers want something in return for their donation. That might be a dinner at a gala. Or it could be Girl Scout cookies.
3- Donors. Donors are more committed. They care about the charity. They may do some research to see where their money will go, to determine if the organization is sound, or to learn what results will be accomplished from their donation. But this can still be sort of an impulse decision.
4- Investors. Ahh. Investors are super-committed. They care deeply about the cause. They really want their money to make a difference. Investors tend to be committed frequent donors, major donors and planned giving donors.
Here’s a simple chart to help you see how they fit together. You’ll notice that the major deciding factor that determines whether or not someone has become an investor is their commitment level. Someone may love an organization (high affinity). But without a high level of commitment, they simply cannot become true investors.