Study Finds Credit Card-Related Concepts Increase Generosity

If reaching your fundraising goals is feeling next to impossible, you’re not alone. Choosing the right platforms and tactics to reach out to the right donors is no simple task. A 2012 study by Chatterjee et al., “Why Money Meanings Matter in Decisions to Donate

Time and Money,” found that fundraising is even more of a catch-22 than most of us realize. Through their research, the authors discovered that the mere mention of money-related concepts reduced people’s willingness to give generously. So how are you supposed to ask for money without making prospective donors grab their wallets and run?

The issue is this: most people have a tight cognitive link between the idea of money and the idea of self-preservation and self-sufficiency. Once we’re thinking about money, we’re thinking about how much we don’t want to give it away. Luckily, the researchers made room for nuance within this rule. They conducted separate tests, priming some participants with cash-related concepts and others with card-related concepts. The difference was undeniable. The cash-primed group was less willing to give money and time, and was less likely to see the benefit in doing so. Card-primed participants showed the opposite results, feeling all-around more generous and more confident that their generosity was worth it.

It comes down to how we think about cash and card payments differently. Cash payments are both physical and instantaneous. We see the money leave our hands in exchange for whatever we’re purchasing. Card payments, on the other hand, are mediated and delayed. Chalking it up to the activation of “different associative networks” in the brain, the authors propose that card payments allow the patron to focus more on the ways in which they benefit from the money transaction — whether that be the product they purchase or the cause they support — and less on the costs incurred.

This research adds to the list of reasons that The RoundUp App provides an answer to the many difficulties of fundraising in the modern world. Because the app links to a preexisting credit or debit card, participating nonprofits necessarily prime potential donors with card-related concepts when they encourage them to sign up. To make it even more effortless, signing up for RoundUp is a one-time decision. This not only eliminates the friction potential donors experience when solicited for money, but also makes things easier for the participating nonprofits. They don’t need to make appeal after appeal — RoundUp is, by nature, the setup for a repeat donor.

So maybe fundraising isn’t so impossible after all. It turns out that donors and nonprofits alike are looking for the same things: simplicity and ease. RoundUp is here to help maximize on that common ground. It may seem too good to be true, but the studies don’t lie. Generosity is just a swipe away.

Want to Learn More About the RoundUp App?

Schedule a time that is convenient for you to talk with our team and learn more about how other nonprofits are using the app to build a base of recurring donors. Book a call with our team.