One way to get people to give more to charity is to encourage them.
You tell them how giving they are.
My idea would be that instead of having a fundraising dinner, giving a keynote, and asking for a donation, you would first thank everyone for what they are about to do.
Maybe the speaker sets the table by thanking everyone from the podium to start.
Thank you for being here tonight. Thank you all for your generosity. Thank you for being such a giving and charitable group. This would not be possible without you.
And then maybe later, over dinner, the head of the charity would stop by each table to thank everyone individually.
You are so kind and so giving. Thank you again for being a generous person.
Now ask for the donation back at the podium.
See, people often fit the expectations that we make for them. People told they are brave – tend to act braver. People told they are smart – tend to act smarter.
And people told they are generous usually give more.
And, as we will see in Chapter 4, what those around us think is true of us is enormously important in determining what we ourselves think is true. For example, one study found that after hearing that they were considered charitable people, New Haven, Connecticut, housewives gave much more money to a canvasser from the Multiple Sclerosis Association. Apparently the mere knowledge that someone viewed them as charitable caused these women to make their actions consistent with another’s perception of them.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence