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In this corner of the blog we are asking people random questions about their passions and what makes them want to get involved with causes and bettering the world. I can’t promise any hard-hitting questions but rather simple insight into what drives people in such a fast-paced social media’ed world.

Today’s question: What makes you want to give?

We asked 29-year-old Diane Jenkins, a mother of two, what motivates her to give.

“Definitely when I see a person in need it makes me get involved,” said Jenkins. “There is something about a visual element that makes me take notice and help out where I can.”

How important are the visuals?

Jenkins adds, “They are pretty important. There is something to be said about shock value, though extreme tactics sometime make me second guess the need to support a cause. A genuine story wins me over. I also want to see results. If I give my money I want to see what is being done with it. I am likely to give again if I feel good about what I did – if I can see how I made a difference.”

Once you have seen that your contribution has made a difference, then what?

“A genuine thank you can work,” said Jenkins. “But if it is a standard form mail that everybody gets, it should be personalized and at least appear to be special for me. What I don’t like is getting a letter that clearly puts my name in bold or my donation amount because it looks like it was just dropped in from a database. And I realize in reality that it most likely will be by (charitable organizations) but the formatting makes a difference. I don’t want to feel like I’m part of a mass mailing.”

What advice would Jenkins give to nonprofits wanting to connect with their supporters?

“I need to see the faces behind the cause,” said Jenkins. “Show me who you are and what you are doing. Flashing pictures on a screen might get my attention but a human angle with someone connected to the cause is what will drive me to get involved.”

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