Donor Identity, Morality, and Nonprofit Organizations: Soliciting Donations and Recruiting Volunteers for the Red Cross, 1863–1919

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Recent literature has highlighted the central role that donor identity, the perception of oneself as a giving person, plays in fundraising. In this, nonprofit organizations develop strategies to encourage a generous self-perception among potential donors and volunteers to elicit donations. However, existing literature has not yet examined the cultural repertoires that organizations develop to portray convincing representations of donor identity to their donor and volunteer base. This article argues that nonprofit organizations draw on broad, culturally defined notions of the moral good to create idealized depictions of a donor identity. To demonstrate, the article looks at the early decades of the Red Cross movement. It shows that the movement developed four different logics to depict romanticized notions of donors and volunteers, each based on a different idea of the social good. The article argues that such meaning-making is a key aspect of nonprofit organizations’ work.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly |  

Goto full post >>