Do Infographics & Statistics Increase Propensity to Give?

It’s not clear whether infographics and statistics increase the propensity to give. There doesn’t seem to be much, if any research, on the topic.

But what is clear from research is that well written impact stories, especially dramatic impact stories, do increase the propensity to give.

Have you ever seen, or personally experienced, a friend or family member attempting to raise money on a crowdfunding site for some tragedy? It’s amazing how individual stories of heartache like that can result in so much giving. I came across one just the other day of a friend’s daughter who had been in a accident and had raised over $25,000 in just a few days. I donated $50 myself on the spot.

It’s called the Identifiable Victim Effect and it’s fundamentally why we built Mythos–to align individual beneficiary stories with donors in way that is relatable and relevant.

“If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”

Mother Teresa

The Identifiable Victim Effect is when a specific, identifiable person (the “victim”) is observed under hardship, as compared to a large, vaguely defined group with the same need, resulting in donors giving more.

Infographics and statistics are popular and often used to promote impact. But they just don’t engage the donor the way a good story does.

If you’re in development, telling a story that aligns to the individual interests of your prospect is going to be much more effective than giving her overall statistics about your organizations impact.

If you’re in stewardship, telling a donor-specific beneficiary impact story is going to resonate much more than generic stories that don’t relate to how that donor’s money was used.

About the Author

Robb Hoffheins

As the Head of Product, Robb is responsible for the success of Mythos from sales to ongoing customer success with the platform.