According to a new report from Ideas42, people aren’t giving as much as they’d like to charitable causes.
When the behavioral design lab asked survey respondents what percent of income they thought people should give to nonprofits annually, the answer was 6.1%, about double what they actually give – just 3%. Tweet this.
With so many options to donate – direct to nonprofit organizations, at the register, through workplace donation programs – it’s a bit surprising that individuals aren’t giving more. Whether due to a lack of a personal giving strategy or simply due to overwhelm, the study suggests ways to increase charitable giving based on behavioral science.
For example, in studying workplace giving, researchers found that billions of dollars in matching corporate funds go unclaimed each year and set out in partnership with tech company Oath for Good to find out why.
Part of the problem: information overload. New employees are presented with
information about charitable giving at the same time they learn about other benefits such as medical insurance. Workplace giving naturally falls to the bottom of the priority list.
One simple remedy? Oath for Good created a $25 giving credit and (after testing several messages) sent emails to new hires warning them not to let their giving credit expire, a subtle suggestion that they would lose something by not acting in time. This loss-aversion messaging generated 36% more new hires engaging with the giving platform – a solid start.
Could any of your upcoming campaigns test the efficacy of a similar loss-aversion message?
Another experiment: in partnership with donation platform Bright Funds, prompting users of the platform to select an annual giving goal and reminding users of that goal toward the end of the year led to a 7.1% increase in giving, a number that jumped to 17.7% for those who hadn’t yet donated anything at the start of the experiment.
Where could your campaigns test the creation of a goal to motivate a desired behavior?
The bottom line? There’s still a significant gap in what individuals say they would like to be contributing to good causes and what they actually give.
Companies have a significant role to play, whether in helping communicate more urgently about internal workplace giving options or in rallying the troops to set – and ultimately achieve – a more intentional giving goal.
Enjoy these dog days of summer!
Engage for Good
P.S. Be sure to join us for this week’s webinar, an encore presentation of one of the most highly rated breakout sessions at this year’s Engage for Good Conference about keeping a 10-year cause marketing effort fresh and relevant.