Whether we get out our checkbook or throw the request in the recycling bin is determined, in part, by the specific way the request is framed. But a new study suggests non-profits might want to create two separate appeals: One aimed at men, and another at women.
A research team led by Stanford University sociologist Robb Willer reports empathy-based appeals tend to be effective with women. But as a rule, men—who traditionally give somewhat less to anti-poverty charities—need to be convinced that their self-interest aligns with that of the campaign.
“Framing poverty as an issue that negatively affects all Americans increased men’s willingness to donate to the cause, eliminating the gender gap,” the researchers write in the journal Social Science Research….
“While this reframing resonated with men, who were otherwise less likely to spontaneously express concern about poverty,” Willer and his colleagues write, “it had the opposite effect for women, who might have felt less motivated to express concern about poverty when doing so seemed inconsistent with feeling empathy for the poor.”…(More)”