The effect of the word “Loving” on compliance to a fundraising request: evidence from a French field study


Nicolas Guéguen, Université de Bretagne-Sud, Rue de la loi, Vannes 56000, France.



In a field setting, students (N = 1800) on different campus locations were asked by a young female confederate for a donation during a health fundraising solicitation (French Téléthon). The solicitor wore a white tee-shirt with different inscriptions: no inscription, “Loving = Helping”, and “Donating = Helping”. Results found that, compared with the no inscription condition, the number of donators increased when the tee-shirt “Loving = Helping” was worn by the solicitor-confederate and decreased when wearing the tee-shirt “Donating = Helping”. The activation spreading theory is used to explain these results. Practical interest for health fundraising organizations is developed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.