A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Two conspiracy theorists die and go to heaven…” (9/11 joke) (3/26)
“Coffee: starter fluid for the morning impaired” (3/25)
“But even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all. New York has great water for coffee” (3/25)
“Life begins after coffee” (3/25)
“I pretend coffee helps, but I’m still a bitch” (3/25)
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Entry from February 11, 2013
“People don’t give to causes; people give to people with causes”

"People don’t give to causes; people give to people with causes” is an adage of charitable giving. There are many worthy causes, but people give money when they can connect a person to the worthy cause, such as a relative, a neighbor, a friend, a classmate or a colleague.

“People don’t give to causes, they give to other people” has been cited in print since at least 1966 and is of unknown authorship.


Google Books
April 1966, Changing Times (The Kiplinger Magazine), “If you’re asked to work on the fund drive,” pg. 42, col. 2:
If you can’t find an experienced hand, look for one who understands the psychology of fund-raising, which is that people don’t give to causes, they give to other people.

You know how it is. You get a first, second and third mailed appeal from the volunteer fire department and you don’t respond. Then your neighbor knocks on your door. He reminds you that a year ago firemen saved the lives of his two children and kept a fire at his house from spreading. He wants, he says, to make sure the neighborhood responds to this drive. You give because a personal appeal has made your support seem important.

Google Books
Education and Training for the Fundraising Function
By Charles S Levy
New York, NY: Bureau for Careers in Jewish Service
1973
Pg. 77:
It no longer seems sufficient to assert that “people don’t give to causes; they give to people;” or, that “the fundraising process and medium are more important than the funds actually raised.”

Google Books
Thrust
Volumes 11-12
Association of California School Administrators
1981
Pg. 12:
Fund raising’s number one axiom is that “people don’t give to causes; people give to people with causes!”

24 June 1984, Mobile (AL) Press Register, “Kaufman’s comments on charitable giving,” pg. 3-F, col. 3:
“People don’t give to causes; people give to people.”
(Bill Kaufman, executive director of the United Fund of Mobile County, 1954-1975—ed.)

Google Books
Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising:
A Comprehensive Guide to Principles, Strategies, and Methods

By Henry A. Rosso
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers
1991
Pg. XIV:
People don’t give to causes; people give to people with causes.
Pg. 86:
As stated before, one of the oldest maxims in fundraising is, “"People do not give to causes. They give to people with causes.” Indeed they do. In contemporary fund raising, this maxim might be modified a bit. People give to people with causes, but they give to the cause that they know, understand, and believe in strongly.

Google Books
Leading the Fundraising Charge:
The Role of the Nonprofit Executive

By Karla A. Williams
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2013
Pg. 163:
The old adage of ‘’people don’t give to causes . . . people give to people, with causes’’ remains as true today as it was when organized fundraising began more than 130 plus years ago.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Monday, February 11, 2013 • Permalink