In the harrowing task of fundraising in the nonprofit sector, it would seem that the last thing anyone needs is complexity. It’s tough enough as it is.
However, in their book “American Generosity,” Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather E. Price discuss the various complexities that lead to people engaging in higher giving, or not. They propose a variety of “recipes” of webs of affiliations people have, but they highlight seven affiliations that have a place in the recipes. They are:
- Role of generous personal identity: Group affiliations cannot grease the wheels of generosity unless someone first considers generosity to the person’s identity.
- Role of parental influence: Parental influence is an ingredient in almost all recipes.
- Role of spousal alignment: A generous spouse can cause a less than generous one to give more.
- Role of friend support: Affiliating with a group of close friends who are supportive of generosity is a key part of the pathways to greater giving.
- Role of religious calls: These are key for most greater giving amounts.
- Role of local community context: The role that one’s community is generous plays a key role in most recipes.
- Role of national context: This context is relevant, although not as relevant as the perception of the local community context.