Saying things like “even a penny helps” makes small contributions feel legitimate.

Alternative tool name: Low-ball, Legitimation of paltry donations, LPD, LPC

Tool variation:

Category: Choice architecture, size/nature of ask


Relevant theories: 'Legitimation of paltry donation' (LPD/LPC), Conformity

Type of evidence: Field-exp-charity, Field-exp-charity, Meta-analysis/lit survey

Evidence strength (ad hoc assessment): 7

Main findings

Even a penny helps' (lpd/'low bar') increases contribution incidence (appears strongly replicated) but sometimes reduces conditional contribution ('scale-back'); net effect varies. Mediated by anchors and expectations.


Practical relevance

May be easier to legitimate small donations in effective (humanitarian) contexts because of low living costs… Seems a common practice in international giving (“for the price of just a cup of coffee”)

Use cases



Key papers

Secondary papers

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  • tools/ask_for_small_donation.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/03/11 00:41
  • by david