(For a free copy of our brief report What’s a Charity?, please e-mail ron@greymatterresearch.com – we promise no sales bombardment.)

What’s a charity?  Not the actual definition, but what that word conjures up for people.

When people hear about “giving to charity,” relatively few think of hospitals as “charities.”  But most automatically think of children’s hospitals this way.  Why?

Homeless shelters, universities, churches, and museums are all out there trying to raise money.  But they’re working on a perceptual playing field that’s anything but level.

Close to nine out of ten Americans mentally include homeless shelters in their definition of “charities,” but the same proportion exclude universities and private schools.  Animal shelters are charities, museums are not.  Religious congregations?  Faith-based organizations?  Well, that depends on whether you’re religious.

In our report, we identify two critical factors which appear to have a significant impact on whether various types of organizations are thought of as charities people can support with their donations.

Perceptions about what is a charity and what isn’t are a confusing mix.  Not only that, but the words Americans use for the whole Third Sector – charity, non-profit, charitable organization, ministry – vary quite a bit from one person to the next.

Words matter.  Learn how the people you’re trying to reach think about different sectors of the donor-supported world, and what words they use related to donor-supported organizations.

Grey Matter Research and Harmon Research teamed up to explore these issues in our exclusive new report, What’s a Charity?  Just send us a quick note at ron@greymatterresearch.com and we’ll be happy to send you the report.

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