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#23: Dana K. Segal — 5 ways behavioural economics can improve your fundraising

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Every day the human brain makes tens of thousands of decisions — most of them quickly and effectively, but not always rationally. And that can have a big impact on your fundraising.

Today, we’ll learn from Dana K. Segal how donors make decisions, and how the science behind behavioural economics can be applied to improve your fundraising.

Dana is a senior partner consultant at the Management Centre. Her consultancy portfolio includes NGOs across the UK, Europe and Africa. She has delivered decision-science training for clients that include Oxford University, RNLI, and MSF International. 

On today’s podcast, Dana shares five heuristics — or tools — the brain uses to simplify its decision-making process. Along the way, you’ll learn how you can use these tools in your own organization’s donor communications to raise more money,

Applying these principles can lead your donors toward greater generosity, so make sure you have a notepad and pen as you listen to this episode.

Today we’ll cover:

  • [6:07] – What decision science and behavioural economics is
  • [10:44] – How decision science serves ours donors
  • [11:44] – The ethics of decision science
  • [15:10] – What we know about how people make choices
  • [17:04] – What is a heuristic and how do they drive decision making? 
  • [18:36] – Heuristic #1 – Perceived effort
  • [25:06] – Heuristic #2 – Social proof
  • [32:02] – Heuristic #3 – Defaults
  • [34:20] – Can this backfire on your organization?
  • [38:07] – Heuristic #4 – Loss aversion
  • [43:04] – Heuristic #5 – Messenger

Dana would love to connect with you. You can find her on Twitter and learn more about her work  in decision science and behavioural economics here.

Join in our mission to help others build good in the world by rating and sharing this podcast on all major platforms. You can do that by clicking here.

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