December 10th, 2019
This edition is all about giving.
Have you done any of the following in the past month, helped a stranger, or someone you didn’t know who needed help? Donated money to a charity? Volunteered your time to an organisation? Well, keep reading and find out how you can be part of giving this season.

01 - Num6ers

Interesting stats or figures from the past week to put global issues in perspective


of annual giving takes place in December, 12% of which occurs on the last 3 days of the year.

The number of people who have helped a stranger across the 10 years of the world giving index. This is about two and a half billion people. Helping a stranger is the most commonly performed giving behavior across the world. Seven of the ten countries where people are most likely to help a stranger are located in Africa.

1,2; 11,22 

Ranking of Kenya and Nigeria among African states and their global ranking on the World Giving Index. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) world giving index provides a decade’s worth of combined insight into the scope and nature of giving around the world.

02 - Fresh from the Lab

New insights, trends, and findings for behavioral science in the Global South

In keeping with our theme of giving, we want to share an experiment exploring fundraising behavior

We consider global poverty to be a solvable problem. The total funding given for international development and poverty reduction each year is much greater than the extreme poverty gap. So why does it persist? It is likely due to the fact that many of the resources for economic development are not focused on today's problems, but investing in solutions that might reduce poverty in the future. This approach assumes that donors see short and long-run poverty as the same problem, and are willing to contribute only a fixed amount to solve the overarching problem of poverty. This may be a reasonable approach, it however overlooks the fact that the people who will not be poor due to long-term investment are different to those who might die poor in the meantime.

As such, we set out to test whether donors would donate more if given the opportunity to contribute to both short and long-term poverty reduction, than they would if given the opportunity to contribute solely to long-term poverty reduction.

People were told that they had $1 to give to charity. Thirty percent of any amount they did not give to charity would go to them — so while they had an incentive to give, their giving choices also cost them money, exactly like the real world.

Respondents were randomized into a group given a choice to give to a single charity focused on health (reducing malaria in the developing world), or a group given the choice to give to a single charity as well as send money directly to people living on less than $2 a day in Kenya.

What happened:

  • In the malaria only option, people give an average of $0.36.
  • In the malaria and cash transfer option, people give an average of $0.54 — or 50% more. 

Specifically, they give an average of $0.30 to the malaria prevention cause and $0.24 to direct poverty reduction through cash transfers.

What this means is that donors do distinguish between various causes, and give more in proportion to greater need. For a charity focused just on maximizing the resources dedicated to its current causes, asking for donations to reduce the immediate poverty faced by people worldwide will reduce its ‘core’ funding by 20%, but at the same time it will increase total giving to support overall poverty reduction by 50%.

Read the full post here

03 - Links we liked

Recently published journals, papers, blog posts or just interesting snippets we enjoyed

A compilation of three of our favorite resources on charitable giving to help you nudge along your friends and colleagues this holiday season:

First on our line up is the 2019 Charitable giving update by Ideas42. A report that summarises experimental studies on donor behavior, theoretical frameworks and models of charitable giving as well trends. This includes the generational differences in giving behaviors with highlights on tactics for non-profits to engage younger donors and cultivate future bases of support. An interesting read for non profits looking to target Millenials who respond well to strategies that highlight the global impact of charitable work as they are more likely to give in order to ‘make the world a better place’.

The  Behavioral Insights Team have put together a guide to behavioral economics and charitable giving. A practical approach grounded in rigorous analytical methods to not only understand insights that can be used to encourage increases in charitable donation, from current literature, but also to test and trial these insights in practice through the use of randomised controlled trials. The results include, how changes in the way questions are asked, or individuals prompted can support increases in charitable donations thus helping to raise money for good causes. 

Finally, an exploration of nudge techniques charities can apply to increase charitable giving. Balancing deliberate and impulsive intentions to give. A great look at various strategies, from simplifying the process of giving so that intention leads to action with minimal challenge - making it more likely for a donor to follow through - to, how to leverage social norms and identity possibly by utilizing identity-focused messaging to promote the deliberate giver who thoughtfully donates in line with the causes they choose to support.
Have a lovely week!
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