6 things worth knowing about the psychology of giving

Check this out from Classy Blog: 6 Fundraising Psychology Hacks You Need to Know. These are the so-called tricks experienced fundraisers work with all the time:

  1. Identifiable Victim Effect (It’s much easier to care — and give — if you see one person in need.)
  2. Psychic Numbing (This is the opposite of the Identifiable Victim. When you depict the problem as gigantic, you numb people’s compassion. I call it Fundcrushing.)
  3. The Time-Ask Effect (In many cases, if you first ask someone to give their time — and then for their money — they can be more open to donating. After all, it’s usually easier to give money than time.)
  4. Emotion and the Decision to Give (Charitable giving is all about emotion. Don’t spare emotional content!)
  5. Goal Proximity Effect (It’s often more compelling to give when you’re close to your fundraising goal.)
  6. Martyrdom Effect (This is why events can work. People are more happy with accomplishment they had to work for.)


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.