Why do we give to charitable organizations and causes? Our motivations for philanthropic giving depend on how we feel we’re faring compared to others.
When people perceive that they are better off in some way—wealthier, healthier, more popular, better educated compared to a benchmark—they are more likely to give purely for the benefit of others. But when people feel comparably worse off in some way, charitable giving tends to be tied to self-interest.
This new research by Ann Schlosser at the Foster School of Business suggests that fundraisers will want to take these findings into consideration before their next ask.