I’ve read that when you’re asking for donations it’s good to set a standard, like “most people donate $10.”
People don’t know what’s “the right” amount, so they want to know what other people do. How much am I supposed to tip the taxi? Should I tip the mail man? Etc.
I read about a study regarding those hotel efforts to get people to participate in the “save the planet, don’t wash your towel” thing. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if saving the planet was as easy as using yesterday’s towel?)
The secret, so this study said, was to get the guest to think he’s part of a group so that he doesn’t want to let the group down. E.g., “Average participation is 20%, but 30% of the people on this floor participated in the program.”
That sounds really weird to me. Why would I have any sort of in-group attachment to people who happen to have stayed on the same floor? It doesn’t make sense, but apparently it works.
Similar things work in neighborhoods (which makes a lot more sense). E.g., “The electric company is trying to conserve power. 45% of your neighbors have reduced their electric consumption this year, …. ”
Anyway, Wikipedia has decided to ask for contributions. Here’s their version of the tin cup rattle.
Notice that they specify an average donation of $15, but then notice that $15 isn’t one of the choices on the right.
(BTW, all reasonable people love wikipedia, so I gave them $20.)