Charitable donations by living individuals constitutes the largest single source of donations to non-profits in the United States, constituting on average three-quarters of all donations to the non-profit sector and dwarfing the contributions of corporate philanthropy, foundation grants, and charitable bequests (Giving USA, 2006, p.1). If policymakers expect the non-profit sector to provide a safety net for those in poverty, they would be well served to know whether the donors to such service organizations are in any position to meaningfully provide support. Knowing who is actually motivated to support their organizations, and where those motivations are rooted could assist non-profit administrators and various fundraising institutions.
Reaching the intended constituency is vital to any organization, non-profit, public, or private. In providing services and resources to the community, non-profit organizations will find it useful to realize their economic impact* on the county as a whole. Providing a resource for these organizations to utilize that illustrates a clear picture of their contribution to the county’s economy will undoubtedly support their mission and could assist the organization in fund development.
Throughout our research, we uncovered some interesting trends in donor motivations and found that the 90 largest non-profit organizations contribute significantly to Thurston County’s economy with over $195,000,000 of revenue reported in 2006.