How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
Just giving, just getting
I've a couple of friends who are doing sterling stuff in the name of charity.
It's an odd sponsorship proposition: 'Give money to charity and I'll put myself
through some hardship'. There's an interesting website,
JustGiving that helps this process along.
The question then arose about how much to give. Your name goes next to your donation, so there's little chance of a low donation. You could give an anonymous name, but you'd still feel like a rat. When we're not sure what to do we look at what others do, so, in a very British way, I picked a number that seemed reasonably generous without being ostentatious. And so I felt good, which is the real deal here. Give money to charity: feel good in exchange. Fair deal.
The next motivation is that I have now framed myself as a generous chap who helps these sorts of things, so when another friend asks for a similar sponsorship on JustGiving. I happily obliged. Now feeling like a thoroughly nice chap who supports his friends, I continued the Good Work by passing on the link to a network of friends and even put a link to both Hilary's and Andy's pages on my main changingminds.org website.
In studying persuasion, I am my own favourite subject. Rather than stubbornly resist persuasive efforts, I watch with interest how I feel and respond with each technique others used. Of course in the end I do decide if I want to go along or not, but I also sometimes do, especially if I can see a good reason. And I guess that's real persuasion for you..
The only form of charity is the one that springs from our inner need to
help others or to share our good fortune with others. It is like a happy man
sharing his sense of delight and contentment with others automatically without a
plan. Charitable acts that are elicited from us playing upon our sense of guilt
for being fortunate do not go a long way. They do end up pooling some money that
may be used in a good cause, but this forced charity generally drive people away
from it. Therefore, it is imperative that while actuating people on to
charitable acts we appeal to their charitable spirit and use images and ideas
that reveal the pleasant effects of charity instead of evoking images of
disaster and suffering that create a sense of guilt. The suffering imagery is
good for the news, but not for real and lasting motivation.