As Collegiate Skate Tour, my big baby, transitions to nonprofit status, I’m learning more and more about giving: what people give, to whom, and why. It’s a fascinating behavior to observe, all moral opinions and assumptions aside. In a perfect world (according to me), we all would share most things so that everyone is happy together. But as of right now, I know that we’re far from that as a reality. So, the psychology of giving remains to be complex and intriguing.
Is giving about a sense of goodwill? Is it about achieving recognition? Is it about impact? I’m convinced it involves all of the above, and then some. And everyone’s different. That’s why asking for things is hard. As a nonprofit aimed to make more good happen, its ask has to be crafted uniquely to a specific person or organization, and his/her/their interests.
Most people just want to support things they believe in. But it’s not that simple. By supporting something they believe in, they’re extending the influence of a message they support. They just get to do it by supporting something that’s already doing it. The name of the game is increasing the reach of your opinion(s); receiving the opportunity to expand an agenda. So some people might be content with having a logo broadcasted through new media channels in exchange for a sum of money. Others may want to have a more exact mission enacted on their behalf.
Is it selfish to give and expect something in return? That is pure opinion. People can perceive that however they wish, but subconscious psychology usually causes each of us to rationalize a loss with an equal or larger gain. Just remember next time you ask for something, there must be a value exchange:
What’s in it for the other party? What’s making them feel good about it? How is it justified?
Always remember that every giving tree has a limited amount of fruit.
- 7Ply Epic