Tag: charity

On Giving Tuesday, holiday donation campaigns launch into high gear, with various year-end appeals supporting a whole array of causes. But how do people decide where to donate their money?  They know that they should give to the neediest cases, but new research from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School shows the donation decision often comes down to something called a “charity beauty premium.”

“We observed that donors often favor beautiful, but less needy charity recipients,” said Cynthia Cryder, associate professor of marketing at Olin.

Cryder and her co-authors — Simona Botti, associate professor of marketing at the London Business School, and Yvetta Simonyan, lecturer at the University of Birmingham — conducted eight different studies involving thousands of in-person and online participants. They showed them multiple photos of actual charity recipients and observed how participants responded. The bottom line: Beauty prevailed when it came to making intuitive choices on where, how much, and to whom to donate.

giving-tuesday-logo“There seems to be a very basic automatic preference for beauty,” Cryder said. In one study, a significantly greater percentage of participants chose to sponsor a giraffe or zebra (both rated as highly beautiful) rather than a penguin or orangutan (rated as less beautiful), despite correctly perceiving the latter two animals as more severely endangered.  “If you’re asking people to make quick decisions based on intuition, then a preference for beautiful recipients emerges. However, visual judgments of neediness and beauty are negatively correlated, which means when donors are choosing the beautiful recipients, they are overlooking the needy ones, who are the ones they say they should give to.”

Although participants chose beautiful recipients when deciding quickly and intuitively, when participants were asked to carefully consider charitable recipients, there was a shift. When encouraged to deliberate, participants opted to donate to those recipients they knew they should (the needier recipient) instead of those they wanted to give to (the more beautiful recipient).

“We found when we asked participants to make very thoughtful and well-reasoned decisions, then a preference for needier recipients emerged,” Cryder said.

So where does this leave organizations looking to boost their bottom lines via charitable donations? Cryder found that because many decisions are intuitive, they should focus on the donor’s experience during the act of giving to be more successful.

“The most effective charities, who do the most good in terms of serving the neediest recipients and serving them well, should be the savviest about potentially highlighting the most aesthetically pleasing causes that they have,” Cryder said.

“More broadly, they should be very attuned to allowing their donors to feel good about their donation. If a charitable organization is able to affirm to people that they are doing a good thing, and also ensure that donors are feeling good about giving, they might be more successful long-term.”

Guest blogger: Erika Ebsworth-Goold

What better way to get in the Holiday Spirit than by gathering up your closest friends for a night of charitable giving and festive cheer?

On Saturday, December 13th Ballpark Village and Washington Avenue will play host to the annual “12 Bars of Charity – St. Louis” charity pub-crawl. $10 of your $35 registration fee will go directly to one of the eight selected St. Louis area charities from which you choose.

For the very first time, St. Patrick Center is one of the benefiting organizations.

A little bit about St. Patrick Center: “At St. Patrick Center, we’re one of Missouri’s largest providers of housing, employment and health opportunities for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We take an action-based approach to service and offer nationally recognized programs that assist more than 8,000 people each year. Our mission, at its core, is to help individuals and families move from homelessness to independence in dignified, cost-effective and permanent ways. This approach transforms our clients as well as our entire community.”

In addition, your registration fee includes:
• Official 12 Bars of St. Louis “Team” Sweatshirt (Black Team for St. Patrick Center!)
• Shuttle Pass that runs a route around the 12 Bars of St. Louis
• 12 Bars koozie
• 1/2 Priced Drink Specials at all participating 12 Bars: Bud Light, Budweiser, Bud Select, Stella Artois, Shock Top and Ketel One Vodka Cocktails

To sign up you and your team, simply click the below link and follow the instructions:


Or to quickly sign up under St. Patrick Center’s Black Team, click the link below:


Hope to see you there!!

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Guest Post by Ryan Rakestraw, MBA Class of 2013:

On Friday February 1, Greg Hutchings, Assistant Dean and Director of Specialized Masters Programs, hosted 11 MBA Students at his home in St. Louis. In addition to being a passionate educator and an experienced financial professional, Greg is also a phenomenal chef.

Greg prepared a slow roasted beef tenderloin, poured several flights of wine, and even provided a homemade citrus cheese cake. By the end of the evening the 12 of us had eaten more than our fill, roughed out plans for several new business ventures, and debated all of the world’s important problems.






What, you might ask, was the cause for such a festive occasion?

On December 7th, the Olin Women in Business (OWIB) held their annual charity auction to raise money and awareness for the Red Cross’ relief efforts for the victims or hurricane Sandy. During this auction, graduate business students bid on a number of different “items” which have a high value for our community. Examples of this year’s “items” up for auction were:

  • Wine Tasting with Joe Fox and Mark Brostoff
  • Bowling with Professor Milbourn
  • Dinner with Greg Hutchings

The night of the auction, my friend and classmate Cory Glass realized that an evening spent with a former investment banker and real estate mogul could prove to be a lucrative transaction. Thus, Cory became intent to win the dinner with Greg.

During the auction, the bidding battle for dinner with Greg was intense, yet somehow the auctioneer (Joe Fox, Director of MBA Programs) was able to maintain order. Ultimately, it was Cory’s steel resolve and icy stare that proved victorious over his opponent’s quant model.

My immediate reaction was to begin ingratiating myself with Cory, which eventually resulted in an invitation to the dinner.

Due to the generosity of Olin graduate students, faculty, and staff, this year’s charity auction netted over $7,000 for the victims of hurricane Sandy.

Additionally, the dinner at Greg’s was one of the best experiences that I have had at Olin.

However, these are only a couple examples of what makes our community great.

Thanks OWIB, Cory, and Greg,
Ryan Rakestraw, MBA Class of 2013