::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Socially Acceptable Charity Requests

November 3rd, 2012
giving  [html]

Perhaps a coworker writes to the office mailing list:
This Sunday I'm going to be participating in the Walk for Hunger. My goal is to walk the whole 20 miles, and am looking for people to sponsor me on a $/mile basis. All money I raise goes to a good cause: fighting hunger here in Massachusetts with Project Bread.
This is a socially acceptable way to ask your coworkers to donate money. Which makes it unusual: it's generally more acceptable to ask people to donate stuff via some sort of 'drive' [1] than it is to ask for money. Charities can do much more with money, however, so the question is, what makes this request work? Might there be a similar request that would convince people to give to more effective charities?

Contributing aspects:

  • It's a request for people to sponsor *you*. You're not asking for them to give money directly to a large organization.
  • You're promising to do something difficult. This indicates that you take this seriously and are willing to sacrifice for it. (That people afterwards describe events like this as "a wonderful experience" doesn't seem to apply.)
  • The cause is mostly irrelevant, in that you could substitute pretty much any charity that sounds like it's doing something useful, but I suspect local charities and ones that are trying to fix some problem that affect people the donors know personally get more money.


[1] For example, some people at my work are currently collecting leftover halloween candy to send to troops overseas.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

How Fast New York Regional Rail Could Be Part 2

In my last post about New York regional rail schedules, I covered the New Haven and Harlem Lines of Metro-North and the Main Line and Hempstead Branch of the LIRR. I was hoping to cover more lines tonight, but due to time constraints only the Hudson Line …

via Pedestrian Observations October 17, 2019

Strong stances

I. The question of confidence Should one hold strong opinions? Some say yes. Some say that while it’s hard to tell, it tentatively seems pretty bad (probably). There are many pragmatically great upsides, and a couple of arguably unconscionable downsides. …

via Meteuphoric October 15, 2019

What do executives do, anyway?

An executive with 8,000 indirect reports and 2000 hours of work in a year can afford to spend, at most, 15 minutes per year per person in their reporting hierarchy... even if they work on nothing else. That job seems impossible. How can anyone make any im…

via apenwarr September 29, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact