The Power of Reciprocity

318129778_fbd4716db4_mAs we head into the year-end fundraising season, it might be worth thinking about ways you can make your supporters feel like giving back. Consider this study…

In 1974, Dr. Phil Kunz, a psychologist working out of Brigham Young University in Utah, sent just under 600 Christmas cards to strangers. He signed each of them “Joyce and Phil.”

Throughout the holiday season, the fictional couple was sent 117 cards in return. That’s over 20%. And many of these had notes, letters, or even family photos enclosed.

We know that premiums work, but this helps us understand why . . . it’s human nature to want to give back when you’ve received something of value. Not necessarily monetary value. Even receiving something like a holiday card, many people are inclined to return in kind.

What’s equally notable is the lasting effect of Dr. Kunz’s work – even fifteen years later, he was still receiving cards for Joyce and Phil, from people who had added them to their annual mailing tradition.

The impulse to give back is great . . . and lasting! How are you encouraging your donors to give back?

– Posted by Jennifer Clements

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