There’s No Need to Thank Me. Really.

Via Tyler Cowen, here’s a study that apparently surprised the experts but doesn’t surprise me at all. The researchers ran a 6-year experiment involving hundreds of thousands of people to see how they responded when nonprofits called to thank them for donating. Here are the results:

Zip. Zero. Nada. This is not the usual “failed to reject the null hypothesis” folderol, it’s bulletproof evidence that the effect is literally null. It just doesn’t matter if you call to thank somebody for donating.

Why am I not surprised? Two reasons. First, I’m a cranky misanthrope and I actively dislike getting pointless phone calls that interrupt me. I’m less likely to donate to you if I think it will result in my being bothered about it later.

But put that aside. It’s just me. The second reason I’m not surprised is that I think people understand perfectly well when something is sincere and when it’s not. Getting a thank you call from your local PBS affiliate is obviously not sincere, it’s just an assignment handed out to volunteers because the suits think it will increase donations. What’s more, if you don’t get a thank you call you don’t even notice it since you probably weren’t expecting one.

Bottom line: save your money and your volunteers’ time and use it for something better. Unless your target audience is rich people, of course, who apparently have to be handled like a Ming vase.¹ But for them, a mere thank you call would be insulting, so I guess you can skip it for everyone after all.

¹Or so I’ve heard, anyway.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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