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

Nov 07, 2018
Question of the Day, Behavioral Finance, Generosity

Answer: Increased by 80%


  1. What do you think are reasons that people donate to causes like a children’s museum?
  2. Why do you think that donations rose when a pair of eyes were placed about the donation box?
  3. Have you ever done something with money that you normally would not have done because someone was watching (e.g., leave a larger tip, donate to a charity)

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.


Looking for ways to bring the charitable giving conversation into your classroom? Check out our lesson on philanthropy! 



About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.