Two nudges from philanthropy

As young boys collecting money for the local Ganesh festival every year, my friends and I usually played a trick on our targets. We first knocked on the doors of families that gave generously. Once they saw liberal donations at the top of the list of donors, the others tended to be less stingy. We managed to maximize the money we collected by playing a psychological game: insidious, but successful.

Anchoring is used by NGOs to collect funds. Put bigger numbers in the form and people pay bigger amounts. Unknown to us, our gang of fund-raisers used anchoring to get more money out of our neighbours.

From Niranjan Rajadhyaksha’s review of Nudge.

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