Is this Giving Really Giving?

Our local NPR station is conducting their spring membership drive.  Each morning and evening when we are listening to Morning Edition and All Things Considered, they break in at certain points to invite listeners to call in and pledge.

In most cases, someone has made a fairly substantial “matching pledge.” This is defined as an amount of money (varying, from what I’ve heard, between $500 and $2000) someone offers to match other gifts to a total amount.  Thus, if a morning has a $500 matching offer, pledges made that morning up to $500 would be matched by this individual (or couple or business or church).

They regularly use the phrase “left on the table” regarding unmatched portions of these pledges.

My question is: would someone actually offer to give an amount of money only if others would match it?  I can appreciate the motivation in offers others to have their gift matched, but I cannot really understand someone calling the station and saying they won’t give as much because other people won’t step up either.

Would you (or do you) make your giving conditional on what other people give?

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3 thoughts on “Is this Giving Really Giving?

  1. Hi Steve,
    I can’t really comment.

    As you know, I only view/listen to fluff in the mornings. The Today Show & Kidd Kraddick.

    However, I know that other readers of your blog are much more informed & look forward to their comments. (HA! HA!)

  2. I think it is an assurance that you are not alone in your effort.

    We were having a meeting at church the other day and a couple stopped by and expressed a need for $10. I put in $2, my pastor $4, and so on and so on. We gathered $36 from our group.

    One of the last was a $10 bill. That would have covered what the couple asked for. He obviously had the means to cover the whole amount. It might seem that the other giving, fueled his generosity. He did ask if they “seemed legit” before he handed it to me.

  3. If behavioral science has taught us anything it has taught us that people have different motivations to do things. While are motivated to give for a mission/cause, others are motivated by challenge. Others are motivated by personal testimony or struggle. While others are motivated by a sense of duty or call. I would recommend part of the book “Made to Stick” as a primer for an insight to these motivations.

    But, Steve, you are far more read than I am and you already know all this. I just am posting to make myself feel better. That is my motivation.

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