Something had stained the new Tervis tumbler. I scrubbed harder; they didn’t come off. Holding it up to the light streaming through the kitchen window, I could see them plain as day. Fingerprints. Permanently etched onto the plastic glass, there were the tell-tell signs from squeezing the lemon just before grabbing up the glass for a refreshing drink.
Yes, you do have a giving brand. Do you give in the moment? Do you prefer to research an organization, or give because a friend asked you to support a cause?
Research tells us your altruistic behavior began at a very early age. At a presentation for the Nonprofit Leadership Lecture Series, Dr. Michael Tidwell, president of the University of Texas at Tyler, said that altruistic behavior stays the same through our lifetimes, “from age six to 96.”
I call your altruistic behavior giving fingerprints. Because our giving behavior stays so similar throughout our lifetime, I think of it as a giving brand. The brand grows with each giving decision we make.
Do you know your giving brand? I wrote a short free e-book, Giving Fingerprints, to help everyone identify their brand.
Giving Fingerprints was successfully launched two weeks ago. It’s encouraging for me to hear how readers plan to use the exercise to enhance their giving experience. Be sure to email me with your ideas.
I am thrilled to know that friends, associates, even family, plan to use it to learn more about their giving brand.
One reader told me she hoped to use the exercise with her children as they work together to set up a family foundation. Others have said they plan to use it with a client who is considering a significant gift.
With the giving season upon us, your inbox and mailbox will fill with fundraising opportunities. How can you use Giving Fingerprints to help you be true to your giving brand? Once you understand better your giving style and preferences, you can make giving decisions that lead to a more joyful experience.
Once you know how your style differs from your spouse the two of you can identify organizations that fit both of your patterns. Or, just as easily choose to give to different organizations – finding a fit for each.
Challenge your teenaged children to each learn about their giving fingerprints and to then identify an organization they believe fits them individually, and everyone in your family. Make a family gift this year, sharing the experience of giving and learning from them in the process.
When Kate wanted to give to an organization that worked with kids and used horses as a way of teaching and connecting with them, we had a long conversation about how the organization she had chosen fit her giving style. After a while, she was convinced she had identified an organization doing important work, in a way that mattered and would bring her joy. That was the critical part. Kate knew she would always be proud of making that particular gift.
Find out what truly matters to you before you make giving decisions. Use that information to make a better donation. Download Giving Fingerprints and catch the joy-filled spirit of giving. Do it today.
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