We sat with 44 people who support or work with nonprofits and learned how and why people donate to nonprofits.

We came up with four behavior archetypes, called personas, to help us categorize people who might use Every.org. Many people identified with multiple personas in different circumstances, but we found that these descriptions generally covered people’s giving styles.

The Thoughtful Planner

Person with thought bubbles

As portfolio planners, Thoughtful Planners are considered and analytical in their giving. They often have spreadsheets breaking down their giving and have researched into the nonprofits they support. They wish to live an aligned life through strategic philanthropy.

The Passionate Empath

These philanthropists take an activist’s approach to giving. Not only do they support a cause, but Passionate Empaths do not hesitate to speak up for the cause they are passionate about. They have strong emotional reactions to need and giving back brings them joy.

The Grateful Reciprocator

These givers practice philanthropy through gratitude. They give to their local communities or groups they’ve been impacted by in their lives. Some see it as returning the favor or expressing thanks, some see it as a moral duty.

The Responsive Giver

Sound waves entering into ear

Responsive Givers give when prompted. They give to friends’ Facebook fundraisers, on the streets, and during grocery checkout. They give after reading the news and participate in timely charity events and volunteering efforts.

We placed these giving styles across two axes: when and how they give.

Proactive givers such as Thoughtful Planners and Passionate Empaths have an existing plan. They just need the tools to give and share the word.

Reactive givers such as Grateful Reciprocators and Responsive Givers respond to needs and events as they come up. They could be aided by timely reminders to donate.

Strategic givers such as Thoughtful Planners and Grateful Reciprocators often give for longterm gains. They love nonprofit solutions that address systemic needs.

Tactical givers such as Passionate Empaths and Responsive Givers often focus on solutions with immediate results such as alleviating immediate suffering and providing much needed services.

There are many giving styles out there. It’s a good thing, since we need many types of solutions to tackle the issues that the nonprofits want to solve. Reflecting on the way you give can help you plan out your giving better.

What is your giving style? We’d love to hear at blog@every.org!