- Wed, May 18 2011
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
Is not you talking about your organization.
It’s the people you help, talking about the difference you make.
The asking matters. Further proof is out in a new study from James Andreoni and Justin Rao called “The Power of Asking: How Communication Affects Selfishness, Empathy and Altruism.”
The study had one subject allocates $10 between herself and a receiver, and systematically altered who in the pair could speak.
“We found that any time the recipient spoke, giving increased – asking is powerful. But when only allocators could speak, choices were significantly more selfish than any other condition. When empathy was heightened by putting allocators “in the receivers shoes,” altruism appeared as if recipients had been able to ask, even when they were silent. We conclude that communication dramatically influences altruistic behavior, and appears to largely work by heightening empathy.”
In other words: asking matters, and who asks matters. Let a volunteer, beneficiary or other party speak for you—it’s powerful stuff.