Former US President George W. Bush accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Zuckerberg, and Kermit the Frog joined in. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama paid to avoid it.Beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge
Paper Unit Asking: A Method to Boost Donations and Beyond
The solicitation of charitable donations costs billions of dollars annually. Here, we introduce a virtually costless method for boosting charitable donations to a group of needy persons: merely asking donors to indicate a hypothetical amount for helping one of the needy persons before asking donors to decide how much to donate for all of the needy persons. We demonstrated, in both real fund-raisers and scenario-based research, that this simple unit-asking method greatly increases donations for the group of needy persons. Different from phenomena such as the foot-in-the-door and identifiable-victim effects, the unit-asking effect arises because donors are initially scope insensitive and subsequently scope consistent. The method applies to both traditional paper-based fund-raisers and increasingly popular Web-based fund-raisers and has implications for domains other than fund-raisers, such as auctions and budget proposals. Our research suggests that a subtle manipulation based on psychological science can generate a substantial effect in real life.
Published in: Psychological Science
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