Part Two of "Givers & Giving"
How do givers decide how much to give? And how can we get them to give more? Those are the two questions that follow once we know what turns listeners into givers.
As AUDIENCE 98® sees it, giving and gift size are the intertwined products of a persons motivation, mindset, and means.
Most of the factors that determine a listeners decision to give also influence the amount given.
Motivations and Mindsets
Before deciding how much to give, a listener must be ready to give. The Stairway to Given, created in the Givers report, leads a person to a giving state of mind:
To become a giver a person must first listen to our station.
The person relies on our program service.
The person considers our service important in his or her life.
The person believes that listeners pay the bills and that government grants are limited.
The first three steps are motivations rooted in the appeal of public radios programming. The only way to encourage listeners to climb these three steps is through programming.
Funding beliefs are mindsets that we can influence with messages that convey the need for listener support, particularly in light of diminishing government subsidies.
Although sequential steps are implied, only the first step listening has a critical place in the order. These motivations and mindsets can develop at any time and accumulate until a listener is ready to give.
The decision to give is made a little sooner among persons with annual household incomes above $100,000. But for most listeners, their means are at best a minor consideration in the decision of whether or not to give.
That said, AUDIENCE 98 validates an observation most of us make:
People who have more money can give more money.
Hardly a startling revelation, but its implications run deep. If a persons ability to afford a gift doesnt cause him or her to give, yet the size of the gift is influenced by the financial means available, then
the motivations and mindsets that cause giving are independent of a persons means. All listeners, regardless of their incomes, can be motivated and educated to give to public radio.
No model can include all of the listener characteristics that influence the size of a particular listeners gift. But for every $10 AUDIENCE 98s model can explain,
four dollars are influenced by listeners household incomes (means);
three dollars are influenced by their reliance on the service (motivation);
two dollars are influenced by the importance of the service in their lives (motivation);
and if theyre Actualizers, theyll give you an extra buck (mindset).
What does this tell us?
Reliance and personal importance two programming-centered motivations in the decision to give are so powerful that they also pervade the decision of how much to give.
In fact, half of AUDIENCE 98s ability to predict gift size is based on these two motivations. Together they weigh more heavily in the determination of gift size than a persons financial means.
While a good public service can get a listener to give, a better public service can increase the size of his gift.
Although VALSTM 2 is a good predictor of whom from the general population may listen to public radios programming, it is not a predictor of who will give. Nor does VALS type predict the amount of money a giver will give.
AUDIENCE 98 does find that Actualizers come with a 10 percent premium built in. And knowing that Actualizers are over-represented in both listening and giving helps us shape more effective messages that resonate with their values and beliefs.
Applying This Knowledge
Understanding the most basic motivations, means, and mindsets that cause giving and influence gift size can help us shape and hone messages that encourage every type of listener to give and to give more.
Well-targeted pitches, both on-air and off,
can convince a listener to contribute now. But pitches work only for
listeners in a giving state of mind.
Well-chosen premiums and other inducements can offer an opportunity to give more. But up-selling works only for listeners who value the program service at a higher level than previously requested or given.
In other words, appeals, gifts, and other techniques can trigger a gift; but our program service is the indisputable cause of that gift.
The largest part of every listener dollar is payment for a persons use, reliance, and appraisal of your program service.
And thats good news because, unlike a listeners income or VALS type, the program service is under our control.
But control can cut both ways, reducing as well as boosting giving and gift size. Interrupt their program service, or send messages that clash with their reasons for listening, and listeners will have another reason not to give or another reason to give less.
AUDIENCE 98 Core Team
Part One of this report "Givers" concerns what motivates a listener to give. Part Two "Giving" identifies the levels of gift amount and advances ideas on how to encourage higher levels of giving.
For More Information
Affordability is a part of anyones gift-giving calculus. What is affordable over the course of a year may not be affordable in a single gift. David Giovannoni and John Sutton suggest how the affordability of an annual gift can be more closely aligned with a persons financial meansOn the Occasion of Giving.
This report is based on a statistical model created by AUDIENCE 98 to explain gift size. The Giving Models technical attributes and finer points are presented in a (not too technical) sidebar that conveys the full extent of what we learned in our exploration.
You may be surprised atWhat We Didnt Find contributing to the size of gift. You dont have to check your hypotheses at the door, but you do have to check them.
Using the Stairway to Given when Comparing Givers by Size of Gift reveals that those who are the most generous to public radio know the route up the Stairway the best.
Navigate the Report
Giving (Part Two of "Givers and Giving") On the Occasion of Giving The Giving Model What We Didnt Find Stairway to Given Comparing Givers by Size of Gift
Audience Research Analysis
Copyright © ARA and CPB. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 01, 2000 12:38 PM.