Life

4 keys to fostering contagious generosity

On the primal elements that unlock our innate desire to be generous

It’s essential to begin every conversation about generosity with a simple truth:

Humans are hardwired to be generous.

It often doesn’t appear to be true, though, because we often rely on methods for channeling generosity that don’t fully draw us out. These approaches do little to connect the gifts we give to the outcomes we desire and create an experience that feels more like a black box than the intentional and collaborative experience we were designed for.

The result? 

Our generosity withers.

In search of a better way, here are the four primal elements that drive our innate desire to be generous:

1. Transparency
People give to stewards they trust. And trust is built by making the giving, outreach, and outcome lifecycle as open and transparent as possible.

2. Clarity
People give to clearly defined goals. Clearly communicating exactly what is needed, why, and when gives the community the context it needs to respond.

3. Connection
People give to outcomes they’re emotionally connected to. This is accomplished two ways:

  1. Empower people to discover and share giving opportunities with the community. This amplifies people’s ability to make an impact and feel a sense of ownership.
  2. Maintaining a steady and consistent stream of updates throughout a project’s lifecycle. Which is essential to keeping everyone connected and informed.

4. Reach
People give when their generosity has a tangible, far-reaching impact. An increased focus on outreach helps communities become epicenters of impact that people are excited and motivated to support.

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