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How to Create a Lasting Giving Moment

6 min read
June 28, 2022
Allison Smith headshot
Allison Smith
Content Marketing Coordinator, Neon One
giving moments

In order to understand why people give and make your nonprofit’s work appeal to donors, you have to understand giving moments.

What is a Giving Moment?

Simply put, a giving moment is a moment when people are inspired to make a donation. On a large scale, think of times of crisis or a giving day. On a smaller scale, think of inspirational stories or urgent needs.

Giving moments are often highly emotional: They involve creating an emotional connection with a potential donor and inviting them to support your cause. Times of crisis evoke feelings of fear or anger. Giving days create feelings of solidarity and community. Inspirational stories evoke empathy or hopefulness. This swell of emotion is a call to action, and your donor’s giving moment is formed. Your nonprofit can do several things to initiate giving moments to inspire interest in supporting your organization.

How to Create and Utilize Giving Moments

Making a large group of people care about your cause at once can be incredibly difficult. When creating a giving moment, it is best to personalize your communications to individuals to inspire them to give. You can do that by telling a captivating story, creating a memorable giving experience, and following up with personalized engagements.

Captivating Storytelling

Storytelling and story sharing is one of the most powerful tools your nonprofit has to inspire people to give. Tell a story that elicits an emotional response from the donor and invite the donor to be the hero of the story by making a donation.

For example: A nonprofit shares the story of an abandoned puppy that arrives at their shelter sick and afraid. They walk their donors through the puppy’s recovery and their eventual placement in a happy home with their new family. At the emotional culmination of the story, the donor is invited to give so other puppies can experience the same support. The donor decides to give. Thus, a giving moment is created.

There’s neuroscientific evidence that emotional storytelling captures attention and creates a giving moment, too. According to Francesco Ambrogetti, a person who listens to a heartfelt story experiences a rush of dopamine that reels them into the giving experience.

In the interview with What The Fundraising, Francesco discusses a common misconception of fundraisers. It’s easy to assume a first-time donor is already passionate about your cause and already a fan of your organization. Actually, that passion takes extra time to cultivate. More work must be put in to ensure new donors form a long-term interest in your cause.

Create a Donation Experience That Capitalizes on That Giving Moment

When you build happiness around a memory or experience, you don’t need to be told to spend money on it. Being a supporter makes you feel good, whether you support your favorite artist, a brand you love, your favorite team, or the nonprofit(s) you’re passionate about. When someone decides to donate to you because of the giving moment you’ve created for them, they will experience positive feelings about their decision.

To help keep this feeling going, reiterate elements of the story you shared that evoked an emotional response from the donor on your donation form.

The animal shelter above could use a picture of the happy, healed puppy and a couple of sentences about how donors can help provide positive outcomes to other puppies on their donation page or form. Those elements would reiterate the value of the donor’s gift and sustain the positive feelings that inspired them to visit the form in the first place.

Facebook Giving Moments

Another way you can create giving moments is to meet donors where they already are: Facebook. 

In a survey conducted by Data Axle cited in Neon One’s Donor Report, they found that 17% of donors prefer to be communicated with via social media. Additionally, they found that 14.7% of respondents had given to a nonprofit by clicking on a Facebook ad.

Facebook is a significant fundraising tool that nonprofits have at their disposal. More than $6 billion USD has been fundraised globally on Facebook and Instagram. 

A benefit to using Facebook’s fundraising platform is that its infrastructure also supports giving moments. They showcase featured nonprofits and featured active fundraisers on the fundraisers page. Whether it’s on this page or on your followers’ feeds, creating giving moments on Facebook is a valuable way to inspire generosity in your donors on a channel they use regularly.

Facebook’s featuring of nonprofits can assist those interested in a cause to find your nonprofit or a fundraiser on your nonprofit’s behalf, but maintaining their interest in your organization will be up to you. Make sure you continue to follow up with Facebook donors to make them feel good about their gift. To learn more, check out this video with partner Julia Campbell on Facebook Fundraising.

After The Donation

It’s important to extend the good feelings associated with the giving moment into the days after a gift in order to turn your donors into passionate supporters. Often, nonprofits don’t do enough to keep the donors’ interest after they’ve made a gift, which contributes to the industry’s ongoing history of low donor retention rates.

To keep the momentum going, consider doing the following:

  • Send a post-giving survey: Ask them about why they gave and their satisfaction after their gift
  • Send donation receipts that highlight the impact they’ll make and recall some of the same language included on the form
  • Send the donor updates and impact reports related to their gift
  • Continued personalized engagement: Reach out and be a part of moments that matter to the donor, such as their birthday, anniversary, etc. Don’t only reach out on days that matter to your nonprofit. This reiterates to donors that you care about them for more than their money.

Creating community, involving the donor and valuing their input, and personalized engagement with donors creates a meaningful and joyful giving experience for your donor. Instead of focusing exclusively on your donor’s money, this process welcomes your donor and makes them feel like they’re a part of your nonprofit’s journey to improve a piece of the world.


A giving moment means little if you don’t make it last. The moment where someone decides to donate is fragile, and a donor’s interest in following through on their intentions to give can fade easily. Ground the fleeting moment in reality by building a stellar and memorable donation experience using personalized communication tactics.

To learn more about creating memorable moments between fundraisers and donors in the digital space, join us for our free virtual educational summit July 26-28, 2022. 

Register today

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