What We're Reading: Smile edition

As givers, Millennials catching up

Nonprofit Times: A new study shows that Millennials gave an average of $580 to charity in the past year, closing the gap from previous years with their more senior counterparts. Giving patterns of younger Americans also run counter to polls that show they are shying away from religion; the survey show houses of worship getting $416 of the annual $580. One finding of note: Millennials look online and on their mobile devices for influencers toward giving. More than half (51 percent) reported giving through a charity’s website while 37 percent stated that they had used a smartphone to give. More than one-third (36 percent) were motivated to give by something they saw on a charity’s website.

Smiles vs. frowns

Observer: Are donors more likely to respond to pictures of people who seem happy or sad? A professor and doctoral student set out to learn the answer to that question. While happy faces can indicate the difference one can make with a donation, a sad face can boost awareness of need. As with every type of communication, what works best depends on the audience: What should fundraisers learn from our findings? Nonprofits may want to tailor their materials based on their target audience. Specifically, campaigns should use sad-faced ads to target people with weaker ties to charities. But for people with stronger connections, happy-faced ads may be a safer bet.

A window into the business of fake news

TechReview: A new report from Cybersecurity firm Trends Micro provides an overview of the business of fake news. It’s surprisingly cheap to plant and spread fake news to social media, and a well-oiled underground market of services can make it happen. For $55k you can discredit that pesky journalist, or you yourself can become an internet celebrity in a month with 300k social media followers for $2,600: Of course, nobody wants to be seen to be directly taking any of those steps. So the purveyors of fake news have abused existing social media tools or paid for the service of gray market firms that will do their bidding.

Author: Mitch Hurst
  • Donors
  • millennials
  • fake news
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