Altruism and Philanthropy: The Impulse to do Good
Date of Award
Leadership and Organizations
Master of Professional Studies
Leadership & Organizations
Altruism; Philanthropy; Self-Interest; Fundraising; Donor Motivation
The current economic climate presents increasing challenges for nonprofit organizations none the least is how to effectively engage individual donors and successfully secure their financial support. Why people choose to help others and the role that altruism plays in their decisions and motivations to act philanthropically is essential to understanding the individual donor. Secondary research clarifies altruism as an innate impulse to lessen the suffering of others and identifies certain behaviors, personality indicators, and nurturing influences that intensify altruistic tendencies. Using these findings, an Altruistic Propensity Scale (APS) has been developed to gauge the level of altruism in individuals. Utilization of the APS by fund-raisers will help provide insights into the core altruistic motivations of their donors.
McReynolds, Tracy Lee, "Altruism and Philanthropy: The Impulse to do Good" (2011). University College: Leadership and Organizations Capstones. 60.