Jan 24, 2024

Question of the Day: A picture of a pair of eyes was placed above a donation box. Did donations increase or decrease?

An eye-popping example of how much people chose to donate when they felt like they were being watched. 

Answer: Donations increased by 80%



  1. Why do you think the presence of eye images above a donation box could increase donations?
  2. Is it ethical to use images of eyes to encourage donations? Explain why or why not.
  3. How does this relate to marketing tactics used by businesses and charities? Can you think of other ways in which psychological triggers are used to influence consumer behavior?


Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (from MarketWatch):

When the eyes picture was on the box, people dropped more money into it. The average increase was just one cent per museum visitor, but that added up to an increase of $12 per week — a significant gain, given that the average weekly donation was $15 during the study period, the researchers said.


Be sure to check out NGPF's updated Philanthropy unit!


The activity COMPARE: Philanthropy Pitfalls will keep your students' wits sharp when it comes to donating their hard-earned money.

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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