Pi Attitude Zone: Ethics & Altruism

Charity Begins …at Both Ends of the Attitude Spectrum

So who gives a damn? 

Why are some people more prone to charitable giving than others?  Is there something typical in the ‘attitudinal DNA’ of donors to charities that makes them concerned for those less fortunate than themselves?  And predisposes them to do something about it?  Like give money?

Pi ran a comparative analysis for UNICEF, at the behest of a European research group investigating the “giving gene”.  Pi focused on questioning the whole idea that giving to charity is the same for everyone.  Turns out that different causes bring out a generous response in different people.

To demonstrate this, we ran the Pi-Chart on donors to a prominent Children’s charity, and compared it to the Pi-Chart profile of people who gave to a leading Human Rights charity.  (For details on how Pi-Charts work, see the Pi Demo under Home).

More than half of  both donor groups’ attitude profiles seemed, indeed, to be a kind of universal “charitable DNA”.  Elements in common included an interest in other cultures, an impulse to connect with faraway people and places, and a sense of inclusiveness and group loyalty: ‘being there’ for other people.

However, several identifiable attitudes varied from one charity to the other.  For instance givers to the human rights charity turned out to be strongly driven by self-discovery and a quest for knowledge and understanding.  They felt a commitment to proving themselves a success in life, and felt a strong sense of ethics.

The children’s charity donors, by contrast, turned out to be mostly characterized by patience and forbearance in the face of life’s vicissitudes.  To them, material comforts were more important than convictions or causes.  Rather than grand dreams of making the world a better place, they wanted to help one needy child at a time.  It was personal.

Pi says: charity can be as big as social justice, or as small as a touching personal story.

Zone: Ethics & Altruism Country: Multiple Geographies Product – Other