It all comes back to the donor.

Jun 16, 2022
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Hebah Tanveer

“Give us $1,000 and with our incredible marketing tactics, we will promise you a return of $2,000 in donations!”

Tauseef Rab is the founder of Feeling Blessed, and he’s not a huge fan of statements such as the one above. See, there’s a plague infecting many crowdfunding companies:

The abstraction of donation money.

When nonprofits garner the trust of a donor, the funds received are just one thread of a delicate relationship. And when nonprofits garner the trust of several donors, a finely woven network of threads now comprises the charity’s backbone.

It all comes back to the donor.

“You have to ask yourself,” Tauseef says, “when companies ask for a thousand dollars in marketing funds, where is that money coming from? The donor. A nonprofit’s funding comes from its donors.”

In other terms, crowdfunding companies ask for $1,000 of donor funds with a return promise of $2,000 in donor funds. Think about things from the donor’s perspective:

Donor: Salam, I just donated $X.00 to build one water well.

Nonprofit: Jazak Allah Khair! So, we actually didn’t use your money to build that water well.

Donor: Pardon?

Nonprofit: We used your donation to print five posters, and five people saw those posters!

Donor: And?

Nonprofit: Those five people donated to build water wells. So, technically, your donation helped build five water wells, not just one.

As was demonstrated, while it’s important to avoid abstracting donation money, it’s equally important to understand the value being placed upon that $1,000 investment. Marketing campaigns, publicity stunts, brand recognition. Can you really put a dollar value on turning a nonprofit’s slogan into a household saying?

And perhaps the greater question: is a marketing budget Zakat-eligible?

Nonprofits are impactful because of driven teams pushing a noble mission forward. Nonprofits are successful because of an intricate network of donors giving the teams the resources they need to fund their mission.

It all comes back to the donor.

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