Giving

4 studies on increasing empathy and donations this holiday season

November 27, 2015   |   frank

The holidays are about stuffing your face, avoiding your weird uncle, giving thanks, and – of course – giving back.

For many of you working for charities and organizations, the winter season is a time to tap into the holiday spirit and rev up calls for donations.

To kick things off, here are four studies that can help you increase empathy and donations for your cause. From increasing feelings of awe to taking a page out of the Black Friday playbook, read on to find out what these scientists suggest can increase generosity and giving this season.

The power of awe

New research suggests that increasing pro-social behaviors like generosity may be as simple as reminding people that they are part of something larger than themselves.

Diversity makes us more empathetic

New research suggests that increased contact with people from different races can increase our empathy toward others. The study suggests that being exposed to people who are racially different from us can actually change how our brain reacts to them empathetically.

Take a page out of the Black Friday playbook

Understanding how to use language effectively for fundraising is critical for non-profits, especially given the importance of annual fundraising events in boosting their financial reserves. But new research suggests that taking a page from the Black Friday playbook might be more lucrative. When it comes to charitable giving, it seems we can’t resist opportunities that come along “only once a year.”

Avoid the holiday spirit and try death

If you’re looking for a theme for your next fundraising campaign, here’s one you may want to consider: death. We’re serious. New research out of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Wroclaw, Poland, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that reminding people of their mortality makes them more generous.

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