Apr 24, 2012

Five words may sway women donors, academic researcher finds

An academic specializing in philanthropic psychology working with WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., has discovered that five words appear to boost contributions among female donors. In a Chronicle of Philanthropy podcast, Jen Shang, assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs of Indiana University, said volunteers during a WFIU pledge drive were instructed to use one of five words when initially thanking donors for calling in to the station: caring, compassionate, helpful, friendly or kind. Shang said women donors who heard one of those words went on to give an average of $100, compared with women who heard simply "thank you," who gave an average of $83. There was no difference between those two groups of male callers, Shang said. 

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