The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Baby vs. puppy and the winner is…


(Fantastic DonateNow button from Network for Good customer Heartspring. We love you.)
UPDATE: apparently in the last 24 hours, Heartspring got rid of the baby button. So the above link is gone. As a colleague of mine says – “Nobody puts baby in the corner!” But I guess they did. Heartspring, bring back baby! That was my favorite DonateNow button of all time.

I’ve often joked about how the way to get someone’s attention – and compassion – is through babies and puppies.

And now – further proof, from the Neuromarketing blog.

This highly recommend blog notes an experiment in Scotland:

Hundreds of wallets were planted on the streets of Edinburgh by psychologists last year. Perhaps surprisingly, nearly half of the 240 wallets were posted back. But there was a twist.

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, and his team inserted one of four photographs behind a clear plastic window inside, showing either a smiling baby, a cute puppy, a happy family or a contented elderly couple. Some wallets had no image and some had charity papers inside.

When faced with the photograph of the baby people were far more likely to send the wallet back, the study found. In fact, only one in ten were hard-hearted enough not to do so. With no picture to tug at the emotions, just one in seven were sent back.

According to Dr Wiseman the result reflects a compassionate instinct towards vulnerable infants that people have evolved to ensure the survival of future generations. “The baby kicked off a caring feeling in people, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective,” he said. [From TimesOnline – Want to keep your wallet? Carry a baby picture.]

The results were quite startling. Fully 88% of the wallets with the baby photo were returned. The next best rate was the puppy photo, at 53%. A family photo netted a 48% return rate, while an elderly couple picture scored only 28%.

Attention nonprofit marketers: Want to keep your wallet? Carry baby pictures. Want to win hearts and minds? Apparently, the answer is the same.

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About This Blog
Caryn Stein hi res

Caryn Stein
Vice President, Communications and Content, Network for Good

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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