Why Donate To Sport? The Australian Sports Foundation Report

The Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) support a range of organisations that provide resources, sporting facilities and opportunities nationwide, from a grass roots level to elite sports men and women.The ASF recently published its 2016 / 17 research into the reasons behind donations to not for profit sporting causes – providing insights about key donor motivations, and needs and expectations related to sports giving. As part of our work, Their Beautiful Game keeps up to date with the latest reports and trends in the not for profit sector, ensuring we apply the findings to our own practices to make our giving effective and efficient for both those who donate and those we support. As far as possible, we aim to ensure that the process of donation is a rewarding one, and meets the points outlined below.

Of the key findings, the ASF found that:

1) Sport is good for our health, wellbeing and the community. Sport is known to provide psychological benefits such as bringing positivity and calmness into people’s lives, building self-esteem, confidence, and goal setting. Sport also provides a range of useful life skills such as developing discipline, building mutual respect, and encouraging teamwork.

2) Giving to sporting causes is like a boomerang. It returns powerful psychological rewards to donors. Giving comes from the heart. Donor motivations are mostly subconscious and emotional, deeply rooted in the inner self, i.e. their early life experiences, personal beliefs, values, goals, desires, hopes and needs. While donors give to help make a difference, like a returning boomerang, they receive a range of psychological rewards such as feeling good when they give, personal satisfaction, sense of belonging to their club, improved health and wellbeing, and leaving a legacy.

3) Giving to sport affects people’s emotional well being. The psychological benefits of giving include the good feeling derived when people “do the right thing”, the pleasurable feeling of moral satisfaction, the desire to view oneself as compassionate and kind and attaining an emotionally positive experience, also known as the “warmglow effect” or “helper’s high”. Indeed, giving to sport can lead to positive emotions such as warmth and happiness, while refusing to do so can lead to negative emotions, such as guilt. Beyond short-term emotional perks, giving has several long-term benefits as well. People like to think of themselves as kind and giving. Thus, giving to sport doesn’t just help the causes being supported, it also helps the givers by making them happier, improving their self-esteem, their selfidentity, and helping them feel more connected to their club and the rest of the world. Giving to sport can have positive effects on donors’ overall well-being.

4) Giving to sport is very personal and tightly linked to dedication and commitment to the sport. Donors like to be present in their giving experience by being personally connected with the cause and beneficiary. A key contributor to that is delivering an enjoyable experience, including consideration of what the donor cares about the most, getting them involved in co-creating the fundraising project, and keeping them updated on project progress and outcomes.

5) Satisfaction with the donation experience drives donors’ willingness to give again. For donors, the way they are engaged throughout the donation process and their satisfaction with the overall donation experience drives their loyalty or willingness to give again. As a result of giving, donors could experience a range of psychological rewards. Hence, engaging with them after they have given is important as this reassures them that the club still cares about them and values their support. Donors also like to feel greater sense of belonging, increased social connection, and appreciation.

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