A study found that people are more willing to donate when a charity appeals to the benefits the donors will receive than to altruism.
Researchers mailed postcards encouraging randomly assigned families to donate money to charity. The postcard either highlighted the benefits to others or the benefits to themselves. Those who received the postcard promoting self-benefits were 6.6 percent more likely to give and gave 23 percent more on average.
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The study to increase donations above current levels does not deny that some people are giving out of altruism, but rather that an appeal to self-interest is effective.
In an ideal world, charity is its own reward. In this world, it helps to remind people that they can feel wonderful after donating to a cause.
Most of us believe if we earned a bit more money, we'd have more free money to give. But the wealthier people get, the more expenses they accumulate, meaning there is not that much "spare" income.
The result is that we often pass the buck, thinking that the wealthier people, or our future, richer selves, will have the capacity to give.
Observing the psychological aspects of kindness, witnessing a kind act makes one feel a ‘warm glow’ in our hearts, something which researchers call moral elevation.
When people watch other people being generous and kind, it inspires and motivates them to want to do good.
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