Have you ever wondered what triggers generosity in people? Do some people have lesser or more generosity than others? While these questions abound, it is undeniable that generosity creates a significant impact on the quality of human social and personal life, both for those who receive and those who give.
Gaining a better understanding of generosity would imply that our perception and practice of charitable giving improves and that we would work towards greater flourishing of humanity.
While generosity suggests the virtue of giving abundantly and freely, the art of giving in itself is a learned trait which entails our actions and attitudes. Therefore, generosity is a basic orientation to life.
Although these assumptions make it easy to understand the premise of generosity, they, on the other hand, make it complex to understand what makes us generous. However, empirical studies conducted on generosity have given adequate responses to what triggers generosity in us.
Such is the study by the Behavioural Insights Team which seeks to determine the link between charitable giving and behavioural insights. You will find the arguments made by the team enlightening in the quest to understand what makes us generous.
1. The ease of making donations
Wouldn’t you be motivated to be more charitable when you perceive the process of making donations as an easy task? The Behavioural Insights Team researchers found out that donors tend to get encouraged if actual donation practices are made bearable.
The ease of donation can be achieved through different ways, such as the access of the option to enhance your donations over time as opposed to a single enormous donation. This prevents the erosion of your donation by inflation. Who wouldn’t want their donation to have the desired and intended value?
Further, potential donors can be served with prompt choices which encourage them to join charitable donation programs. As a potential donor, you would not wish to be ambushed with a solemn donation plea.
2. How attractive we perceive the need to donate
It is human nature to pursue that which delights us, isn’t it? If charitable giving is made more attractive to us, then we surely will be strongly attracted to increasing our donations.
A potential donor’s attention to charitable giving, as detailed by the study, can be powerfully arrested through the use of personalised appeal messages as opposed to generic messages. The donor can also be invited to give their donations as a reward for charitable actions by particular groups.
Take it this way; you are the president of your company, and your employees have devised a charitable funds program, and they have invited you to give one dollar for every five dollars they raise. This would motivate you to contribute to the charitable fund programs as opposed to them merely asking you to make donations alone.
3. The perception of charitable giving as a social norm
As the Behavioural Insights Team reveals, a donor will give more into charitable programs if they are positively influenced by the actions of those who surround them. If you perceive giving to charity as a social norm, then you are likely to become more generous.
Will you be more willing to give to charity if a prominent individual sends out strong social signals to you asking you to donate? Would you be encouraged to give to charity if your actions would become visible to other individuals within your social group? What if there are established group norms through which you and subsequent donors can give their individual gifts? My bet is you would gladly seek the opportunity to give to charity.
4. The timing of the need to donate
Timing has a significant impact on the desire to donate and the amount of donation you are willing to make. While the people you give to might be in need from time to time, it is likely that giving when the donation is thought to be most effective can encourage you to give even more. This will ensure that your giving has a greater impact on those you wish to help.
With the knowledge of what makes us generous, we can celebrate our generosity with pleasure. Despite the vast arguments posited for what encourages us to give to charity, the role that our behavioural insights play in triggering our generosity cannot be downplayed.
Whether you are willing to donate or increase your donation will be determined by the above factors. Go out and share your generosity, and don’t you forget that it is all backed up by your behavioural insights into charitable giving.