Charitable Donations and Respectfulness
In an Mturk study, we asked 660 people how their donations would change in response to various efforts by a charity to be respectful. Read our 1 page briefing here. This is what they said:
- Participants are willing to donate more if the charity mentions investing in efforts to recognise individuality, equality or autonomy (p=0.07).
- Treatment 1 – Individuality – drives greater donations compared to control (p=0.02) . Participants donate a mean of $31 extra when a charity mentions efforts to recognise individuality.
- If a charity wants to invest in an initiative to be more respectful, participants are less likely to say a charity should invest in the initiative, if it reduces the number of people it serves by 500 (T1) or 250 (T2). However, if the charity goes ahead and does so, they are willing to up their donations in response (p=0.1). There is a sweet spot here: if the costs of the respectfulness initiative mean the charity serves 5% fewer people, they up their donations from $64 to $93. If the initiative means serving 10% fewer people, donations rise from $64 to $82.
Suggested citation: Wein, T. (2018). ‘Briefing: Charitable Donations and Respectfulness’. The Dignity Project, https://dignityproject.net/learning/
Sauti za Wananchi
Do Kenyans feel they are treated with respect?
- 26% of Kenyans say no, their leaders do not put in enough effort into being respectful towards them.
- 33% of Kenyans say yes, their leaders do put enough effort into being respectful towards them. 35% say somewhat.
Twaweza runs regular polling of public attitudes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They kindly agreed to include this question about respectfulness of leaders in their most recent round of polling.
The question reads:
In your opinion, do leaders in your community put enough effort into being respectful towards the people? [Yes, Not sure, No, Prefer not to say]
More reflections on this finding, and the numbers driving it, soon.
Defining dignity in Mathare
How does dignity get defined in Mathare, an informal neighbourhood in Nairobi?
- Mathare residents say that: “We all have dignity. That is why we show respect to those in our groups. We communicate well and work together. There is a purpose to this: it lets us discharge our God-given duty to care for one another. But fully respecting people isn’t something everyone can do. Some stuff we can all do, like being polite in our speech and observing social codes. We may win recognition by showing our unique qualities. But to be truly respectful, you need more: self-respect, a firm foundation, and autonomy. To get that, you need a lot of things – many of which are denied by a government and society is abusive and sometimes murderous. In that situation, you get derailed. You find other ways of winning respect: money, power, and violence.”
- This approach to dignity is different from the philosophical literature in two ways: Western philosophers simply assume that everyone has the capability to be respectful, and do not discuss a purpose to dignity.
- This is based on a focus group and participatory photo competition we ran in February-March 2019, in partnership with the Mathare Social Justice Centre.
Read our poster here.
Lots of exciting work is being done in this area by many different people, including Remy Debes, ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group and others. And of course, there are many scholars to whom we are indebted.
The Dignity Project has also contributed articles for various venues about the work. Take a look at the Other Writing page for more.
Future Research Agenda
This is just the early stages. We mean to keep developing this work, and extend this research. If you’d like to collaborate or have suggestions, please get in touch!
You can also read the latest draft of Tom’s PhD Research Proposal – this lays out how he plans to continue the work during his PhD research.