“Prevent loss” is better than “provide benefits” in raising donations and charities

Change of words can have great impact in increasing the people’s participation in donation activities.

Open access journal PLoS ONE published this finding.

“Research has shown that people tend to process negative information longer and more deeply and they weigh it more heavily than positive information.” Researchers noted in the paper.

Percentage of participants who indicated that they would help as a function of the gain/loss framing of the charity’s request. (Credit: PLoS ONE)

Percentage of participants who indicated that they would help as a function of the gain/loss framing of the charity’s request. (Credit: PLoS ONE)

In this research, researchers worked in college campus in collaboration with the Red Cross and found that “Prevent death” phrase is better than “save life” in blood donation campaigns.

Similarly, “prevent loss” is better than “provide benefits” to increase the chances of volunteerism. Not only the chances are increased but the volunteers could also donate larger donations.

“These findings demonstrated a simple, reliable, and effective method for charities to significantly increase important helping behaviors,” Eileen Chou from the University of Virginia said in a statement.

Researchers concluded that by pointing towards the loss, camps and charities can potentially increase the helping behaviors of the other people.

Reference:

Chou EY, Murnighan JK (2013). Life or Death Decisions: Framing the Call for Help. PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057351