Influence Techniques In A Fund Raising Sign

I drove into a parking lot in Westfield, NJ and was greeted by this notice.  This fund raising sign is packed with influence techniques.

Can you find the 4 influences techniques and the one big thing it is missing (answers below)?

The Influence Of Social Proof

1. The name includes “United” which is a emulation technique (intentional or not).  This fund benefits from the well recognized name United Way, subconsciously giving the gifter confidence.

2. Talking about gifts, notice that they are not asking for donations?  Gifts are easier to give, and likely resulted in more donations.

3. This sign also uses the technique of local association.  We are much more likely to give to our neighbors than total strangers.  The big reference to Westfield at the top of the sign, and the tag line “Your Gift Goes Far But Not Far Away” drives home the local association.

4. And the greatest of influence techniques is the thermometer.  People are more likely to give money, when they see others have given money before them.  I suspect when this sign was setup, the thermometer was already past the 30% mark.  Since, nobody wants to be first.

There are some other subtle things going on here, too.  Like the color of the sign (green is good) and the “once a year we ask…” line that evokes a small sense of urgency.

My one “complaint” is there was no way for someone to donate when looking at the sign. No number. No website. Nothing actionable. For shame.

What else do you see?


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