So i read maybe one of the worst articles i’ve read yet today. Just to see how bad an article by an “expert” can be, you can check out this article by Fortune magazine, “How Charities Get You to Give.”
Actually, there is some good information in the article—some hard research data, for example. But the conclusions they draw from their data almost makes me sick. “Numbers don’t lie.” Indeed.
Anyway, what’s kind of nice is that the research seems to show that the most effective marketing for nonprofits is to pull the heartstrings. Test results show that the best returns come from not including efficiency data (which engages you to think analytically instead of emotionally) and including photos that pull the heartstrings.
This sounds fine to me. People want to feel good, they want to help. Explain to them how they can help, and they will—especially if i’ve been helpful myself. 🙂
But then the author takes this strange bitter stance about donors, referring to them as “sheep” and claiming that test results show their reactions to be “comical.” Then the final conclusion is that “…maybe, in the end, the most rational person is the person who keeps the money for himself.” Where is that coming from? What research data justifies that statement? [ed—note the use of “himself” to refer to an undetermined person. Mr. Crotchety British Guy strikes again! : ]
It might be true, according to somebody’s result data, that blondes get more donations than brunettes. But what is rational about keeping money for yourself? Suddenly, all acts of giving are indicted and giving to any charity is worthless, because people give based on emotion or irrational preferences? How does that follow?
Maybe people should pay more attention to who they give their money to, and they should try to help charities that are helping more people. That just makes good karmic business sense. But if they don’t, they shouldn’t give at all?
Maybe the author is right; why waste your time giving if you’re not going to give to get your biggest karmic bang for the buck. i change my mind; don’t be a sheep! Read your efficiency data before you give!
Then look at the pictures of sick children and give from the heart. 🙂