Thursday, May 7, 2009


a lot of anarchist events are donation based, pay-what-you-can, type of events.
at the same time, their goal is to raise money for a good cause.

i've been to some events where the money raised was pretty pitiful. here's a few tips on how to keep your event donation based, but make people more willing to donate.

studies show that people stay with whatever their default option is. if a company makes you check a box to enroll in a 401k investment plan, most people dont check the box. however, if a company makes you check a box to opt out of a 401k plan, most people dont check the box and do not enroll in a 401k plan.
same thing with organ donation. if you are by default made an organ donor, most people stay that way. if you are by default not made an organ donor, most people stay that way.

1)so what you want to do, is make giving a donation be the default. if someone doesnt have the moeny, or is unwilling to donate, that's ok, but it shouldnt be the default option. when people come in through the door, ask for a donation.

in another study, coffee was left in a teacher lounge with a box for money and a sign telling coffee drinkers to pay 25 cents for a cup of coffee. more coffee was used than was paid for.
then, the same setup was created, with the sign and the coffee and the box, but added was a picture of a face. with the picture of a face looking at them, the teachers actually paid more often and less coffee was taken for free.
the same happened when there was a mirror there so the teachers would be able to see their own faces when taking coffee.
people are less likely to take things without paying for them when someone is looking. even when it is just a picture of someone looking at them.

2) if you are going to use an unattended box where donations are dropped, a picture of someone looking at the person donating money is a good idea.

also, people are willing to pay more if they think the item normally costs more. students were asked to try a new type of chocolate, and asked how much they would be willing to pay for the new chocolate. college students were willing to pay more for a new brand of chocolate when it was placed next to expensive brands of chocolate than when it was placed next to cheap brands of chocolate, regardless of taste.

3) rather than asking for a donation of 5 dollars, ask for a donation of 5-20 dollars.

and just so you dont feel like you are cheating anyone, brain scans have shown that when people think they are drinking an expensive type of wine, they physically get more pleasure from that wine than from cheap wine.
so if your event ends up being a little more expensive, those who attend might actually get more pleasure from it!

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