Session: The Fundraising Taxonomy of Love

Our job as fundraisers is not only to love the communities we serve and connect our donors’ hearts to these communities, but also to LOVE OUR DONORS. To love our donors, we must give them what they need from their support, and to do this, we need to know who our donors are. What are the important identities that they are expressing through their giving? How can we nurture those identities through the experience of love and enhance their psychological well-being? 

In 2023, the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy conducted a major new research project focused on the experience of love in fundraising and the language we use to describe it. As a result of this work, we developed a taxonomy of issues to consider. Fundraisers can use this framework to audit their own communications and redesign their communications to develop more meaningful forms of love at a much higher level of psychological well-being. This enhancement of psychological well-being can be experienced by donors at all spectrums of capacity to give.

Jen Shang

Professor Jen Shang is the world's first PhD in Philanthropy. She is also the world's only philanthropic psychologist. Her research has been covered in the New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Advancing Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Times. Jen has been published in numerous academic journals including, the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, the Economic Journal, Experimental Economics, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Her research has been funded by the Society of Judgment and Decision Making, the National Science Foundation, The Aspen Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Hewlett Foundation.