2 chemicals that promote charitable giving

You’ve heard about oxytocin, the hormone that increases altruism, generosity, empathy, and trust. It also decreases fear, anxiety, and stress

Apparently it’s not the only the chemical that does those things. Another one is alcohol.

Recent research (reported at Science Direct) noted:

…the great similarity in the sociocognitive effects that can be induced by [oxytocin] and the effects of acute consumption of modest doses of alcohol.

Charitable giving is a deep, elemental act for human beings. It’s related to parental love, romantic love, and our ability to relate to others on many levels.

It should be no surprise that certain chemicals have an impact on something that deeply rooted in the human psyche.

I’m not advocating getting donors tipsy, or somehow dosing them with oxytocin. Just reminding you that giving is an utterly natural act, flowing from deep in the human brain.

When you connect with donors and motivate them to give, you are taking part in a fundamentally human activity.


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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.