Each Color has very different values and motivators when it comes to donating to a charity. You’ll see and hear different radio and TV ads for specific charities that attempt to target a specific audience. Some do it very well, some are a horrible waste of money. But that interpretation can depend on which Color is doing the judging. Sometimes all Colors also unite behind a cause in spite of the fact that evidence keeps showing their very high administration and salary budgets, and very small amount actually going to their cause.
Oranges value their gifts targeting projects or causes that are innovative and big or audacious. They look for something out of the ordinary that’s bold and daring. Donating to what everyone else contributes to has limited appeal to them. Sure, they’ll donate when there’s a need, but it should also stand out and do something different. When they find something they can get behind and get excited about, they can write the big check. Don’t forget that 60% of entrepreneurs are Orange, so they have access to their money and control their company’s donations, too. One great example is the Clinton Initiative started by Orange former U.S. President Bill Clinton and its work in Africa.
Golds tend to want their gift to go to a charity that has credibility and a long-term track record. They really don’t want to reinvent the wheel. They look for substance over style and want to assure none of their money is wasted. They will often search the sites that list the percentages of admin versus the project. That drive made many Gold leery of the Red Cross after many stories of “re-directing” donations to new computer systems after 9/11 and their significant “trouble” in Haiti after the earthquake. Golds are also the largest group to attend church on a more regular basis. As a result, donating or tithing to their church keeps the money in their community, and lets them “see” first-hand how it’s being spent or invested.
Blues, if given a choice, would rather help and become involved hands-on, instead of writing a check. That allows them to see and feel that they’re making a difference in more powerful ways: On the front line, instead of a check or in the boardroom. They want to help those who are hurting the most. In war they want to bring peace – with the wounded, they want to see healing. Their donations often go where their heart feels the most need. The downside is that they wish they could do more, and wonder if they’ve done enough. A big payday for Blues is to see the feedback, to see a youtube video of their donations in action, a newsletter follow-up, or progress report, and a thank you.
Greens are driven to support sustainable solutions and not quick fixes. It’s not so much about the latest plan of the month or the long existing “same-old” type charities. To Greens, some of the largest and well-established groups can seem to enable more than help. Green will never give someone a fish, but they’ll spend a huge amount of time, energy, and their money teaching someone to fish. Emotional appeals will have no impact on their donations – sorry. But if it’s innovative and nobody else is attempting to solve a fundamental need, they’ll get involved. The people with real money (Bill Gates) will create that environment in setting up their own foundation to be able to accomplish exactly what they believe in. Then the Gold Warren Buffet (and many others) became involved with it as well. One Canadian charity, Developing World Connections, became involved in Napal after the earthquake, but doesn’t do “tents and tarps.” They tell the locals that they won’t supply them, but will build them a new earthquake proof school and teach them innovative farming techniques to raise their incomes so THEY can support themselves.