People will not give money if they are thanked in advance or presented with an empty
donation box, but will dig deep if they see banknotes, according to a study by New
Zealand academics released on Wednesday.
The research by Victoria University of Wellington's economics department showed that
how much is already in a donation box, the mix of coins and notes, and what sorts
of signs are present will influence how generous the public will be.
The behavior of people faced with a clear donation box at the entrance to the
city's art gallery was filmed by a hidden camera.
"The most important thing is to never leave the box empty," said senior lecturer John Randal.
"But it is also important to ensure there is a balance of notes and coins so that whether
people want to make a large or small donation, that they feel it is appropriate to do so."
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