Donate with Trust! Donate for India

Visit our site


Philanthropy, briefly defined as a private action for the public good ( Payton, 1988 ), represents contributions (of money, time, goods and specializations) voluntarily donated to the common good ( Schuyt, Smit, & Bekkers, 2004 ). These donations can be intermediated by the third sector or non-profit organizations, such as religious, educational, scientific, health, charitable, among other bodies ( Payne, 1998 ).

In the face of the acknowledgment of the collaboration that philanthropy brings to the economic and social development of a nation, Wiepking (2009)states that the pillars of future prosperity will be sustainable economic growth, political democracy and a basic level of social services. In this context, social and public welfare institutions will possibly be financially supported by three sources of fundraising: government financing, fees and charges, and philanthropy. However, due to changes in social, political and economic environments in the world, resources that ought to be provided or financed by the government have been increasingly scarce towards the support of charitable organizations ( Grace & Griffin, 2006 ).

Based on this scenario, an overall increase in individual donations of money is estimated for charitable organizations. In 2013, for example, the amount donated to charity worldwide was 335.17 billion USD, with 72% being from individual donations. In the Brazilian reality, 22% of individuals are already donors or have donated to civil society organizations ( Charities Aid Foundation, 2014 ).

With that taken into account, this subject has been much discussed in the academy, Bekkers and Wiepking (2011d) reviewed approximately 550 articles with the purpose of better knowing the behavior of the individual donor and the attributes that are tied to these donors. Other researchers, in addition to previous authors, such as Grace and Griffin (2009) , Verhaert and Van den Poel (2011) , Michel and Rieunier (2012) and Casale and Baumann (2013), also seek to understand the reasons why individuals donate to charity by identifying variables that are directly related to the behavior of this individual donor. However, most of these studies have concentrated their research on factors, mechanisms or sets of variables that shape the donor behavior. As an exception, Bekkers and Wiepking, 2007, Bekkers and Wiepking, 2011b grouped variables in 8 donation mechanisms, however, they did not separate the external motivators from the internal ones, despite the differences between them. Moreover, we did not test the models empirically.

As a way of filling the literature gap, especially on the lack of empirical studies and with regard to the grouping of external motivators of donation, this study intends to answer the following question: What are the external motivating factors that favor individual donations of money by Brazilians?

We highlight that understanding the behavior of the individual donor through the external motivating factors that favor the donation of money is relevant for two reasons: the first concerns academic contribution since the existing literature lacks research on the subject, mainly focused on grouping variables and conducting empirical research. The second reason refers to the practice field since charitable organizations increasingly have the need of knowing the external motivators that favor donation, mainly due to a possible transition in which these organizations are inserted, which provides for a considerable reduction of government funding and consequently need to increase the individual donation of money. In this environment, for a good performance of charitable organizations, DeHaven, 2010 ).

As a result of not finding national studies that approach the external motivators of the individual donation of money, we opted to identify them in the international literature to verify the adherence of these external motivators in Brazil. The motivators are possibly the same for all of society, regardless of which country they are, and some motivators appear to have more or less strong depending on the country. However, in general terms, these external motivators tend to be the same or very similar among the various countries, which also makes use of these motivators become a possibility within the Brazilian reality.

Besides this introduction, this study contemplates a theoretical framework, covering the behavior of the donor and it adopts its main focus, identifying the largest possible number of variables related to external motivators that favor the individual donation of money. In this research, we were able to identify 49 external motivators that favor the donation of money, presented in this study through a framework. In order to verify if the variables contained in the literature motivate the behavior of the Brazilian individual donor, we conducted quantitative research with 1073 frequent donors of money. And, as a way to reduce the number of variables, we propose its grouping through the factorial analysis that allowed us to identify 8 external motivating factors that favor the donation of money.