Available for the first time in paperback, Seven Faces of Philanthropy introduces to you the Seven Faces approach―a powerful tool that enables development professionals to maximize their effectiveness when approaching major donors for gifts. The authors identify and profile seven types of major donors and offer you detailed strategies on how to approach them. Both novice and expert fundraisers will find this framework a valuable supplement to existing strategies and techniques.
I'm new in a my role in a fundraising department, and I had to read this book for work, so my 3-star rating is more based on my level of enjoyment rather than the quality of the information. I think the information is worthy of a 5-star rating, but I had a 3-star amount of fun while diving into this data.
If you've ever read "The Five Love Languages," then you would be familiar with the concept of this book. In the same way that people need to receive love in different ways, there are different types of givers, and they respond to different types of messaging.
The Seven Faces of Philanthropy (or different types of givers) are:
-Communitarians – 26% - “Doing good makes sense” -Devout – 21% - “Doing good is God’s will” -Investors – 15% - “Doing good is good business” -Socialites – 11% - “Doing good is fun” -Repayers – 10% - “Doing good in return” -Altruists – 9% - “Doing good feels right” -Dynasts – 8% - “Doing good is a family tradition”
This book mainly uses survey results to makes its points. Inside the book, we find tons of quotes from real life donors, and the quotes are used strategically to prove that the authors’ arguments for each category are correct.
Here are some bullet points I found interesting:
-It was interesting to hear that some people work as Philanthropic Consultants, advising wealthy people on the best organizations to give to and invest in.
-Pages 136-137 have a nice chart that show how different philanthropic personalities respond to different positive messaging. The chart shows which areas scored highest for each personality type.
-Researchers have developed a “foot-in-the-door” theory that hypothesizes that people are more likely to give large, major gifts after first establishing a relationship with the organization by giving smaller gifts.
-Increased involvement with an organization increases a donor’s commitment, which increases their giving.
-In order for an organization to get the most money, donor relationships are usually long-term relationships that are built over many years, after a foundation of trust and affinity have been established.
This book changed the lens through which I see the world.
It gave me a perspective of donors' motivations in a way that was based on heavy longitudinal research, yet easy to apply. In the same way the MBTI provides a framework for understanding dynamics of personalities, and specific ideas for understanding and approaching people, this book gave me a framework for understanding dynamics of donors and "philanthropic personalities," and specific ideas for approaching them.
There are seven. They are easy to understand, and once you read the first few chapters, it was easy to form a picture of who I know that operates from each paradigm.
My only hesitancy with the book, the reason I wavered between four stars and five, is that it lost steam exactly 2/3 through the book. Maybe it's because I had enough information at that point to form some conclusions, which gave me enough work for the next couple years. At the 2/3 point, you have a solid understanding of each personality and how to identify them. The last third was understandably heavier in the application, but nothing that was as earth-shattering as the first 2/3.
I'd love to see more on this research, especially whether the same holds true for lower level donors (this book is based on millionaires).
A must read for anyone in the field of development or non-profit philanthropy. The authors are quite well known in the field, and Russ Allen-Prince is particularly well published in the areas of wealth consulting, and the affects of wealth on the families of the affluent. This book will help you identify and understand what donors and philanthropists desire in their support of an organization. Many of the reasons are unexpected and profound.