Of everything the International Fundraising Conference offers, it's the international part that's the best – the opportunity to share ideas and learn from fundraisers from throughout the world.

In my experience, it doesn't matter where an idea comes from. I've learnt from fundraisers in many different countries – the US, Holland, Australia, France, Austria and more.

I've taken their ideas and implemented them with great success in the UK.

It's why I'm always surprised when I meet fundraisers in the UK who tell me their donors are 'different' to those I'm used to.

There are some differences that you have to take into account if you are raising money from people with different cultural backgrounds. I've been recently involved, for example, in some fascinating discussions about the Islamic charitable obligations of Qurbani and Zakat.

But when it comes down to the final analysis, people are motivated by very similar things, wherever they live or whatever their background.

CAF have recently published a study that helps demonstrates this by looking at the charitable motivations and barriers of British Indian donors. They found that when it comes to philanthropy, British Indians aren't that different from other givers in the UK…

  • They want to be kept up to date about the progress and issues relating to work they are helping to fund and feel that people who give more should have access to more frequent reporting.
  • They want to give to work that is relevant to them and their culture.

For example a person from Gujarat would feel more motivated to help a fellow Gujarati from Africa as opposed to someone from Bengal in India.

  • Smaller charities are of interest to many because they feel their gifts to these types of organisations are 'more personal' and have a 'bigger impact'. Though, just as with many other donors, they need to be assured that less well known charities are trustworthy.
  • They want to be part of something rather than just be a passive giver. They think that engagement with a charity and the chance to network with other like minded people encourages more consistent and involved giving.

Which doesn't sound very different to what I'd expect any donor to say – wherever they come from.

The full study can be downloaded here.