Wealthy donors likely to give more when made to feel powerful


 

Wealthy donors give more when approached with messaging that makes them feel important

Wealthy donors give 82 per cent more when approached with fundraising material that makes them feel powerful, a Harvard University study has found.

Researchers at Harvard Business School surveyed high-income earners to determine which messaging encouraged greater donations, with results demonstrating “agentic” messages were more likely to encourage giving over “communal” messaging.

“It is critical to understand how to encourage donations among those with the greatest capacity,” the study said. “Rather than simply encouraging everyone to work together, our data suggests it helps to highlight the unique role that each individual can play.”

The study looked at 12,316 recent graduates whose starting salary was an average of US$100,000 a year and found those who viewed messages that appealed to personal goals or indicated their importance were more likely to give than communal messages that suggested that donors work together towards a common social issue.

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