Rage Philanthropy: 7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use It to Their Advantage

by | Sep 16, 2020

“Rage philanthropy,” also known as “rage giving” or “episodic giving,” is a phenomenon that occurs as a result of specific events or news episodes. The phrase made its debut after the last presidential election — a time when progressive charities saw a significant surge in monetary donations, mostly prompted by donors’ fear and anger.

Concerned about new policies, and emotionally fueled by the fact that their favorite organizations could be defunded, donors gave — and they gave a lot. Their rage giving was done in hopes that it would help sustain their favorite nonprofits and future-proof their causes. 

Rage Philanthropy

Because of the volatile world we live in now, rage philanthropy is becoming even more common. If you’re a nonprofit, you’ll want to use it to your advantage. Here are seven ways to make it happen:

  1. Look into the future

Be aware and stay up to date with the news. Are there any upcoming events that could align with your nonprofit’s goals? If so, start strategizing your fundraising plans now. Come up with effective ways to engage with potential supporters ahead of those significant events. That way, you’re already top of mind when the event happens. 

  1. Make it timely

Act fast when there are noticeable reactions to events that affect your cause. Reach out quickly and capitalize on people’s emotional need to take immediate action. Don’t let the fire fizzle —

fuel it for good and help spread the word to reach new supporters. Timely, shareable social media posts and email newsletters are perfect mediums for this effort. 

  1. Reduce friction

Make donating as easy and simple as possible. It should be like buying something on Amazon — where all of a sudden, you’ve hit one button, and your item is on its way. Avoid having people jump through hoops to donate to your cause. A simple “Donate Now” button on your nonprofit’s website is a good start. Further, encourage people to give by showing that their donations are tax-deductible. 

  1. Show the value

A one-time donation is great, but encourage donors to give beyond that. Emphasize and demonstrate the value of their contribution. Show how incrementally larger donations can make bigger and better impacts. Inspire donors to become members or to make long-term commitments, all of which can do much more to help the cause. 

  1. Stay engaged

Share real stories about how donations are making a difference. Authenticity adds a human element that keeps your followers engaged. Share all stories and updates via e-newsletters and social media. Be sure to piggyback on trending social media hashtags to spread your message far and wide. Consistent engagement will help attract new people to your audience. 

  1. Money isn’t everything   

Over time, a donor’s emotionally-charged giving can lead to burnout. To help them avoid that (while keeping them involved) request other things outside of money. Encourage them to volunteer, like, and share social media posts, and provide constructive feedback about a recent project or event. 

These are excellent ways to convert that “rage” energy into something productive without asking for more money

  1. Offer hope

While people react to certain events with outrage, understand that their anger is fueled by hope for a better world. Take this opportunity to show them a silver lining. Keep your messaging upbeat and let people know that real and lasting change is possible. Your positivity will give them hope for the future. 

Need more tips for effectively handling your nonprofit’s donations and finances? 

We’re happy to help. As a top, outsourced accounting provider, we’ve helped hundreds of nonprofits just like yours. It costs nothing but a bit of your time to have a consultation call with one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff. You’ve got nothing to lose. Let’s get yours scheduled today.


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