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#34: 5 behavioural economics principles you can’t afford to ignore, with Nate Andorsky

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What compels donors to say yes?

That’s the question most nonprofit fundraisers and marketers are trying to find answers for. Because understanding how people make decisions is a key part in making our fundraising more effective.

We’ve talked about how behavioural economics can help your fundraising on this podcast before, but many of you said this was a topic you wanted to know more about. So, today’s guest is Nate Andorsky, the CEO of Creative Science — a digital agency that applies behavioural economics and technology to help mission-driven organizations grow their impact in the world.

Nate uses donor psychology and big data to get a better understanding of how donors behave. He wrote Decoding the Why, which has a wealth of nonprofit examples of his research.

Today, Nate is going to walk us through five essential theories you can apply in your fundraising today. Listen along to hear five tested and proven principles that come out of the field of behavioural economics and have the power to compel more people to say yes.

Today we’ll cover:

[4:43] – The difference between system 1 and system 2 thinking
[7:35] – Shortcut #1: The Affect Heuristic
[9:23] – What a sludge is                    
[9:57] – How to present data without taking away its emotional power         
[14:07] – Shortcut #2: The Ambiguity Aversion          
[18:44] – Shortcut #3: The Certainty Effect    
[23:28] – Shortcut #4: The Closeness Effect  
[33:24] – Being careful with stereotypes         
[36:10] – Shortcut #5: Framing           
[41:34] – Nate’s encouragement for nonprofit marketers, leaders, and fundraisers              

Get connected:

Nate would love to connect with you. You can find him on Linkedin or email him at You can find out more about the work he does at and get his book Decoding the Why on Amazon.

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