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20NTC Session Proposal

Behavioral Economics and the New Era of Nonprofit Fundraising


Americans donate over 300 billion dollars a year to charity, but the psychological factors that govern whether to give, and how much to give, are still not well understood. Our understanding of giving habits is based primarily upon the intuitions of fundraisers based on what they think works well, rather than what they know works well. 

Is there a better way?

Through the lens of behavioral economics Nate will examine the efficacy of fundraising strategies commonly used by nonprofits and makes concrete recommendations about how to make campaigns more efficient and effective. He will dig into the emotional, social, and cognitive mechanisms that drive people to give highlighting the most intriguing, surprising, and enlightening experimental studies and research on donor engagement and behavior. Furthermore, he will recommend practical suggestions for designing more effective outreach and engagement strategies that cut through the noise and capture your audience’s at their core.

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of what behavioral economics is and prominent theories from the social good space
  • Specific techniques on how to implement these theories to increase digital donor engagement, conversion and retention
  • An understanding of the social, cognitive and emotional factors that drive donors to give

Target Audience

Fundraisers (individual giving), Digital VPs/Directors

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