Does “Liking” Mean Less Giving?

Have you “liked” a charities Facebook page recently? Unfortunately it may actually make you less likely to donate your time or money.

A recent study shows that if you give a public display of support for a charity you are less likely to give them your time or money than if you made a less public expression of support (such as signing a petition) 1.

The researchers behind the study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business think that the reason for this may be that “liking” (or any other public display of support) fulfils the desire to look good to others, which reduces the urgency to give later. If public support is given in private people realise that their values align with the charity, however they have not gained the social boost of public support and so a donation in the future is more likely.
Many charities spend large amounts of money endeavouring to get people to show public support, could this time and effort be better spent? They may just be encouraging “slacktivism” (association with a cause without a commitment of resources to support it).

With the Christmas “boom” time for charities fast approaching it’s worth asking yourself – should I be a slacktivist or an activist?



  1. Paper here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.