6 Methods To Influence Donors


In his fascinating book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. explores 6 fundamental psychological principles that direct human behavior.   Using straightforward language and fascinating anecdotes, he unveils the mystery behind how we react to influence and offers valuable insights for those who rely on their persuasive ability.

If you ask yourself questions like:  How do we get more people to volunteer?  How do we get more people to donate money?  How do we get more people to spread the word about us? … this book contains a treasure trove of wisdom to help you answer them.

Take a brief look at the 6 principles Dr. Cialdini examines.  Then download 15 Powerful Engagement Ideas inspired by these principles.



Give someone something, even something unwanted and without significant value, and he feels obliged to respond favorably when asked for a favor.  Apparently we are programmed to behave like Lannisters and always pay our debts.

Commitment & Consistency

If a person suffers hardship in order to attain something, she will be rigorously supportive of it.  Similarly, once a person has stated something publicly, she will feel psychological pressure to behave in ways that are consistent with that statement.

Social Proof

People exhibit a strong tendency to evaluate something based on what other people think.  Hence the use of sitcom laugh tracks; it is proven that people laugh longer and louder when a laugh track provides “evidence” that other people find a joke funny.


It’s probably no surprise that we are more likely to comply with a request when it comes from someone we like.  It is this tendency that has allowed companies like Tupperware to thrive.


Of the principles examined, our tendency to automatically comply with instructions from an acknowledged authority – even when those instructions run counter to our instincts or logic – is particularly unsettling.


When the availability of an item or an opportunity is limited, it seems more valuable than if it is readily available.  It is this principle that leads collectors to covet “precious mistakes” and assign tremendous value to flawed collectibles.


An understanding of these levers of influence is invaluable.  Used responsibly and ethically, this knowledge suggests ways in which we can engage constituents in meaningful ways.  Looking for some examples?


Download 15 Powerful Engagement Ideas