Watch: What is a proactive donor?

January 22, 2024
3 min read

John Bromley

Founder & CEO

Taking time to consider and plan how you want to give is beneficial for donors and charities alike.

I like to think of myself as a proactive donor because I think about the future, what my lifestyle is, and how charitable giving fits into it. That allows me to think about things like how much money am I going to give away? And when am I going to give that money away? And what type of causes am I going to focus on giving to? And within that, what charities do I want to select and support to get to know better?

That’s what proactive donors do. They really think about and plan for the impact they want to have. Proactive donors are usually better donors in that they’re more consistent and usually happier themselves because they take responsibility for the decisions that they make. 

Am I a reactive donor at times? Absolutely, I react to things, and I choose to give in the context of those reactions. Think about a friend coming and saying, “Hey, do you want to support this thing I’m doing?” Or something’s going on in the community. An emergency. Something unexpected. 

So, there’s nothing wrong with being a reactive donor. But what we would want to advocate for is in the context of being a proactive, thoughtful donor. Include some wriggle room for being able to react. 

So, for example, if you’re thinking about how much money am I going to give away, you can take a slice of that, I recommend 20% and say, here’s the budget that I’m going to use through the year to react to things that come my way that may be unexpected. It’s not really proactive versus reactive. What we want to say is, be proactive and thoughtful about your giving. And in that context, allow for some reaction time.