Breaking News! Online Giving May Increase Sex Appeal

The numbers don’t lie. Giving money to total strangers who promote worthy causes has become more commonplace in today’s culture. Need an operation? Want to make a movie? Dream of starting a startup? Know someone who’s lost everything? Thanks to the internet, crowdfunding campaigns have become the new norm for donating, allowing people with purpose to cast a wider net when seeking donations.

So what compels a person to give? Researchers at Northwestern University decided to figure it out. Turns out, there’s this thing called “intrinsic reward of recognition.” Plainly put, it’s the bragging rights and warm glow one receives when their name is attached to a cause they believe in.  Several participants in this study elaborated on their reasons for giving.

“I love surfing the net and looking for the next best Kickstarter,” explained one of participants. “Even though I only donate $25 per campaign, the mere conversation of my philanthropic spirit typically seals the deal with the ladies, if you know what I mean.”

But what if you’re already in a committed relationship and don’t need such contrived tools to impress others? There are benefits for couples as well. According to this “exciting” study, giving often demonstrates empathy and this reinforces and strengthens relationships.

“The best part is,” said a different participant, “I don’t have to actually see these people or work at some food shelter. And when I tell my wife we’ve donated to whatever cause she’s currently into, it gets me out of the doghouse when I’ve stayed out all night gambling.”

There was one caveat discovered during the study. Announcing one’s act of good will is a fundamental component to today’s online donating. Remaining anonymous and giving for pure altruistic reason seems to be a thing of the past. People want recognition, no matter the results.

“Here’s the thing, don’t hate me because I choose to give and make this world a better place. And how else will the karma police know that I’ve done something wonderful and therefore deserve wonderful things in return if I don’t release it into the universe? You just can’t win with some people.”

One hopeful note discovered in the study is that giving online promotes a sense of community among those who donate. Even if their purpose may seem trite, greedy and unworthy, charity often begets charity, and that’s something that spreads like an infectious virus without a cure – but of course, there’s probably a GoFundMe page for that, too.

Missed last week’s “Breaking News You Can’t Use?” Check it out here.

Breaking News! Online Giving May Increase Sex Appeal
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