econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 30 November 2017

5 Reasons Why People Give Their Money Away - Plus 1 Why They Don't

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Sara Konrath, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Femida Handy, University of Pennsylvania

Do you wish you had more money?

Most people do. And even though people work hard to earn their money, many give some of it away, often to help strangers. In fact, 55.5 percent of American households say that they give to charity.


Please share this article - Go to very top of page, right hand side, for social media buttons.


As experts on giving-related topics in our respective disciplines of psychology and economics, we wanted to understand why people choose to spend their money on other people, rather than themselves - that is, what’s behind the urge to donate.

The power of asking

We are not the first to try to figure this out. The Dutch scholars Rene Bekkers and Pamala Wiepking published a paper six years ago that drew from 500 other papers on this topic to identify the key factors that drive giving.

What they found is that for more than 85 percent of charitable donations, people gave because someone asked them to. Yet that doesn’t solve the question of how donors who are approached by many causes choose which ones they will support.

Most people give to causes that affirm important values, including compassion for those in need. Donors are also more likely to give when they think that their donation will make a difference. But donors don’t give only from the heart, Bekkers and Wiepking found. They also consider the costs and benefits of giving, and the benefits to themselves such as feeling good or looking good to others.

But there are very few ways to measure what motivates people to give to charity (or not). While asking thousands of donors why they give for our research, we have rarely encountered anyone who confessed to giving simply because someone asked them to.

Instead, they describe internal triggers. People often say things like they feel bad for people who do not have homes or it makes them feel good to help others.

That’s why we believe it’s best to simply ask donors why they give.

Givers tend to have a ‘taste’ for generosity. Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

A ‘TASTE’ for charitable giving

In a study detailed in an article soon to be published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, we recruited 819 Americans who reported that they had given to charity in the past. They filled out a detailed online survey that included 54 statements about many different reasons that people give such as “I donate because I feel compassion toward people in need." We drew from previous research to develop these statements, which participants rated according to how strongly they agreed with them.

Based on the patterns we observed in these initial responses, we whittled the 54 down to 18 statements in six categories that measured the most common reasons for giving (or not). This is how we came up with our motives to donate scale, which highlights five key motivations for charitable giving and one common barrier.

From most important to least they were: altruism, trust, social, (financial) constraints, egoism and taxes. Because “ATSCET" is hard to remember, we chose the handy acronym TASTE for Charity.

Trust

People are more likely to give to nonprofits that they trust will use their donated money to make a difference.

Altruism

Donors tell us again and again that they find it important to help others in need. This reinforces earlier findings by other scholars like Gil Clary, Mark Snyder and their colleagues that find that the most important reason for volunteering is altruistic concern for others.

Buying cookies for the armed forces from the Girl Scout next door because you know her is a sign that social motivations shape your charitable giving. Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock.com

Social

Many donors say that they give because their donations matter to someone they know and care about. For example, many married couples often make charitable donation decisions together. People who know someone who has a disease or who has died from one may make a donation to charity that promotes research for that disease. Or people may invite friends to a fundraiser for one of their favorite charities or just directly ask for a contribution - something that millions of Girl Scouts do when they ring their neighbors’ doorbells with their cookie forms in hand.

Taxes

The tax breaks many people get in exchange for their gifts to charity are another motivating factor for giving.

Egoism

Egoism is when people give in order to receive some personal benefit, such as feeling good or looking good to others. Our respondents also cited this motivation.

Financial constraints

In addition to those five motivating factors, we found one reason why people balk at giving to charity: They feel like they can’t afford it.

What we know and what we don’t

So far, we know that people seem to be more motivated by how they can help others when they give, rather than what they can get back.

But we are not yet sure if we would find this same pattern in larger-scale studies. Our participants did not reflect U.S. demographics in terms of gender, age and race or ethnicity. The number of women who took part outnumbered the men, for example, which might have made donors look more altruistic than they would have with gender parity.

So, at this point we don’t know what motivates Americans from all different backgrounds to give. We aim to learn more about that in future studies.

Also, we are multicultural scientists: One of us is a citizen of Canada and Germany while also being a U.S. green card holder, and the other was born in India and is both a U.S. and Canadian citizen. Given our own global perspectives, we don’t expect motivations to be the same across cultures and we can’t help but wonder what drives giving across cultures.

We would like to explore those differences too.

The ConversationYou can take the motives to donate survey yourself to see how your motives compare to people in our studies, by visiting our website at tinyurl.com/motives2donate.

Sara Konrath, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Femida Handy, Professor of Social Policy at the School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.




Econintersect Contributors








search_box
Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.







Keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved