The power of (dis)incentives
Weekend Reading Round-Up

Incentives part 2: Which of these appeals would you give to?

Following on from my post the other dayon the talk I attended at the RSA, I wanted to look at how this applies to fundraising.

Professor Ayres told the audience about an experiment that was done with a fundraising letter raising money for orphan's with AIDS in Africa.

Half were sent a letter stating the following:

We've raised £4,920 towards our £10,000 target.

The other half received a letter with this statement:

We've got £5,080 to go to reach our £10,000 target.

Which do you think most people would give to?

Apparently the answer depended on how committed the donors were to the cause.  Those who've already given to AIDS charities were more likely to give to the second one, but those who hadn't given before were more likely to give to the first one.

I've been trying to find a reference for the study (as it sounds interesting) but may need to buy his book to get it!  It does give food for thought though, especially for how you phrase the ask in appeals depending on how committed the donor is to your cause.  i.e. cold appeals should use the first ask, warm appeals the second.

Using incentives to get free coffee (and increasing fundraising)

Another incentive that has possible fundraising uses is to do with loyalty cards.

If you're a regular to a coffee shop then you might get one of their loyalty cards where you buy five cups of coffee (or similar) and get one free.

Research has shown if you give people a start i.e. your first stamp(s) for 'free', then they are more likely to fill the card.

I've been trying to think of ways you could use this for fundraising.

If you've got a sponsored event then can you get a major donor or sponsor to kickstart the participant's fundraising by donating the first £20 of their target?

Charity shops could use the same principle to promote repeat custom.

Can you think of any other uses?