Israeli researchers have concluded that personal "victim stories" only work to inspire charitable giving if the giver can identify with the victim.
Charitable organizations should consider their audience's psychological distance to the charity to determine the most effective pitch, Dr. Danit Ein-Gar of the Recanati Graduate School Of Business at Tel Aviv University and Dr. Liat Levontin of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, have said.
The researchers also said that the Sally Struthers approach, using a starving child to personify the aims of the organization, may elicit an effective emotional response.
It was further found by the researchers that this approach isn't appropriate when givers are geographically distant from the victim.
According to the researchers, a breast cancer charity should develop a general campaign if the ad will be seen by both genders of varying age groups.
Ein-Gar said in a statement, "It's a bit contrary to what we might think, because we're more likely to think that people are more responsive to individuals than organizations. But what we found is that if the ad is spread to a variety of populations, wealthy people, old people, people without children, then you might want to focus on the general organization and not just a certain victim." (With Inputs from Agencies)
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