Give if you win (innovation in fundraising)
I’m an academic Economist at the University of Exeter, working on a project called ‘Give if you win’. Here’s a summary:
Millions of employees anticipate end-of-year bonuses and performance-dependent income, particularly in finance and sales. Before these are announced many are uncertain of what size reward, if any, they will get. There is evidence from behavioural economics and psychology that people may be especially generous if asked to commit in advance: ‘if you win a bonus, how much will you donate to charity?’, or if asked immediately after they win a bonus. This evidence also broadly justifies pledges like GWWC and the Founder’s Pledge. I have been researching this concept at the University of Exeter Business School, and promoting this idea as part of an ESRC-funded impact project called ‘Innovations in fundraising’, partnering with George Howlett of the Centre for Effective Altruism. We give the general pitch and some relevant links on the page giveifyouwin.org.
I would really appreciate it if you could take a look at this page and give some feedback and ideas. I’m looking for opportunities to try this out, as well to learn more about potential obstacles and implementation issues.
By the way, as part of this project, my research assistants and I are gathering information in an ‘Innovations in Fundraising Wiki’ (link to alpha version here), and we are looking for collaborators and volunteers (and very willing to partner and integrate with other platforms). I think these resources could be particularly valuable to Effective Altruists looking to fundraise and to find ways of boosting effective giving. Please let me know if you are interested—I’ll post more on this later.
For banks and big corporations to want to join, there probably needs to be a greater sense of assurance that their signing up will actually lead to the publicity you suggest there would be. That in mind, it’s plausible that 1. cancer charities would do better than an investment in something westerners aren’t personally affected by, such as schistosomiasis, and 2. that one big check to one big organization will garner more attention than many checks to a myriad of organizations. To hammer home that latter point: you could refer to past examples where big donations to some charity lead to a big press event where the donor is thanked extensively (a google browse should garner plenty of results). Lastly, it’s plausible that big organizations are more likely to listen and cooperate if they are asked by a big, known charity, which you will have contacted and gotten to initiate that process, rather than some obscure, new, small organization without any track-record whatsoever.
Have you considered implementing this in already existing charity structures of organizations. Quite a few organizations already have partnerships, e.g.: https://fundraising.co.uk/2016/07/15/deloitte-raises-2-6m-three-years-three-charities/, and this could fit neatly into that.
I agree. It would be good to think of ways to line up endorsement and positive publicity in advance. Still, I think it depends on the cost-benefit calculation. If they can try this without much effort or risk, they might be willing to do so internally and roll out the PR gradually.
Domestic charities and charities like CRUK will typically tend to do better in general, I suspect. However, i. increasing the overall volume of giving should increase effective giving at least proportionally and ii. more so if we focus on this in the promotions and work with EA supporters in organisations.
Developing approaches to get people outside of the EA movement to support EA charities is a separate and very important one (e.g., Deloitte could have at least one international/effective charity partnership. I’m working on this as well (I hope to update soon about the wiki and other things people can engage in.)
I would be very keen to work with a big, known charity. It may not be the highest-rated EA charity, but it would be good to partner with one that is at least somewhere on the EA spectrum even if not perfect (an Oxfam, MSF, Comic Relief, etc).