We thought this interview from the New York Times was fascinating and thought you’d want to see it.
Behaviorist Jen Shang, an assistant professor at the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University, shares new research into how she produced a 10% increase in giving from women by “changing a handful of words in a solicitation.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Q. You write that nonprofits can increase contributions “by changing a handful of words in a solicitation.” What are those magic words?
A. There are nine adjectives Americans use to describe a moral person: kind, caring, compassionate, helpful, friendly, fair, hard-working, generous and honest. Charities can randomly select a couple of adjectives from those nine words and use them in their fund-raising solicitations when appropriate. We’ve found that women then increase their giving on average by 10%.
Q. What words in solicitations prompt men to give more?
A. The adjectives that male donors used during our focus groups include strong, responsible and loyal.