Prime the pump: Ask for time now and money later

When you ask a prospect for their time, they will give more when you ask them for money later.

That’s the result of a study from Stanford researchers Wendy Liu and Jennifer Aaker.

In the study, participants were asked the following questions but in differing orders:

  • “How interested are you in volunteering for HopeLab?”
  • “How interested are you in making a donation to HopeLab?”

Subjects were then given the opportunity to donate some or all of the $10 compensation they received. Those who were first asked about volunteering their time donated more of their money to HopeLab. The group that was first asked about making a donation donated significantly less than the test group.

Cultivation and non money asks can play a huge role in priming the pump for giving. Experiential asks for time sway donors into an emotional mindset vs. direct asks for money, which switch donors into a logical/rational frame of mind.

The former mindset favors empathy, which yields stronger giving.