Study: Donors Give More When They See Others Giving Big Gifts

How can you get your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to grow the average size of its donations?

According to a new study, the answer might be to encourage donors who you know are already planning to give big gifts to pledge their support early.

The study aimed to learn how donors react during public online fundraising campaigns — and it analyzed more than 12,000 online fundraising pages for participants in the London Marathon.

Writes the Huffington Post:

The study featured in the June 2015 issue of The Economic Journal found that contributors were more likely to give bigger sums when the average donation spiked, and their decisions had little to do with their feelings about the cause.

Put simply, when donors are deciding how much money to give, they look at benchmarks — in this case, the value of donations from those who have already pledged — to help inform their decision.

When the average value of the donation is higher, these donors give at a higher level to help stay in line with their peers.

As a result, peer-to-peer fundraisers should consider encouraging their participants to approach their highest-value donors first before sending appeals to other potential donors. By doing so, they are increasing their likelihood of generating larger gifts from their entire pool of donors.