I speak a lot about the connection between behavioral economics and our work, and after every speech I get asked for reference materials. People also often email me for a list of my writing on the topic. So I thought I’d pull together in one post all the resources I’ve created. Here’s a mini library on understanding how people really think - and adjusting our marketing, communications and fundraising strategies accordingly.
Plus, as a bonus, I’m including this hour-long video from the Science of Communication speaker series run by the Communications Network and Spitfire Strategies. In this video, Harvard behavioral economist Sendhil Mullainathan provides a great overview of how his field applies to you.
The Mini Library
The best place to start are the two ebooks I’ve written on the topic with Mark Rovner and Alia McKee of SeaChange Strategies:
Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: The Truth about How People Think and What It Means to Your Cause
Lisa Simpson for Nonprofits: What Science Can Teach You About Fundraising, Marketing and Making Social Change
I also wrote a series of blog posts reviewing the latest research on what compels generous behavior and giving. Here are the best of them:
How giving makes you happy
Which makes people happier - giving or receiving?
The relationship between giving and pain
How pledging eases the pain of parting from our money
The power of social norms in giving
How do social norms, price & scrutiny affect what people give?
The role of personal connections in fundraising success
How the power of one (the singularity effect) prompts giving
The effect of mood on giving - and who we choose to help
What happens when you try to making giving less emotional
Sea monkeys and the case for tangibility
Interview with the Science of Giving authors
The time-ask effect
Neuromarketing tips for nonprofits from Roger Dooley
Brain tricks to sell your cause
Your gut is more generous than your brain