Five words may sway women donors, academic researcher finds

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An academic specializing in philanthropic psychology working with WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., has discovered that five words appear to boost contributions among female donors. In a Chronicle of Philanthropy podcast, Jen Shang, assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs of Indiana University, said volunteers during a WFIU pledge drive were instructed to use one of five words when initially thanking donors for calling in to the station: caring, compassionate, helpful, friendly or kind. Shang said women donors who heard one of those words went on to give an average of $100, compared with women who heard simply “thank you,” who gave an average of $83. There was no difference between those two groups of male callers, Shang said. 

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