Summer Allen: Information

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And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Corinthians 8:1

“Studies show that people are sensitive to information about the generosity of others. For example, in a field study that looked at voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica, subjects who were told that the typical contribution was 10 dollars contributed an average of four percent more money than did subjects who were not given a reference amount. Telling subjects that the typical contribution was two dollars, however, increased the number of people who donated, but compared with when no reference amount was provided, it actually decreased the average contribution amount.”

Summer Allen in “The Science of Generosity” White Paper produced by the Greater Good Science Center.

Notice the implications of this Scripture and helpful information.

The Apostle Paul inspired the Corinthians by sharing about the generosity of the Macedonians.

And the research shows that how we share about the generosity of others can shape the response by percentage and by total giving.

If we want to encourage people to give more, we should suggest a “typical contribution” amount. If we want more people to give, we should suggest a low amount, realizing that while more people will give, it will likely decrease the total raised.

This inspires those of us in ministry to provide information carefully to grow generosity.

When there is a great need, we should suggest a “typical contribution” amount. When we need to rally many people to give, we should suggest a low amount.

I am thankful for Paul’s example and this helpful research.

And I appreciate your prayers for safe travel home today from Eastern Europe. It’s been a fruitful GTP. Reply if you’d like a copy of my trip report.