Founder of 5W Public Relations, Ronn Torossian, reveals how American independence leads to increased generosity.
Americans have been recognized for their intense individual generosity for a long time, but the reason for that generosity may not be what people assume. Successful charity organizations understand WHY Americans give, because they study HOW Americans give.
When you ask a group of people why they give, personal altruism and religion are often credited as foundational motivations. But, would you believe that a new theory suggests Americans are more generous on an individual basis because they are more intensely and intrinsically independent?
While science is still out on this theory, the reality is, that sense of personal independence that most Americans hold dear could indeed translate into kind acts of purposed charity. While we are, as individuals, intensely focused on our personal liberties, rights, and inalienable freedoms, when push comes to shove and someone is in need, we rise up en masse to meet that need, and we do so most often with well-administrated individual acts of kindness. Whether it is a neighborhood coming together to organize a food donation to a family in mourning, or a community of civic and church groups joining forces to help victims of a natural disaster, Americans do giving right.
We may be laser focused on preserving our personal liberty, but we drop everything to lend a hand when we can, even if we persist on doing it in our own fiercely independent manner.
More and more people are coming on board with this way of thinking, realizing the merit in this theory and working that reality into their donation campaigns and marketing programs.
Here’s the bottom line for charities interested in tapping into America’s unique brand of charity: Honor its time-tested stubborn independent streak. Ask people to connect on their own terms, and give in ways that suit their perspectives and you will set yourself up for increased success. Fail to do so, and you are artificially limiting your operational budget.