Ask for *conditional* commitments from uncertain unrealized income. E.g., ask “if you get a raise next year, would you donate 10% of your salary increase?” This can be a nonbinding pledge you're reminded of, or a more formal commitment. (See

Alternative tool name:

Tool variation:

Category: Timing/conditionality, income source

Sub-category: Conditionality

Relevant theories: Loss aversion, Self-signaling

Type of evidence: Field-exp-charity, Lab-charity

Evidence strength (ad hoc assessment): 5

Main findings

People facing uncertain gains donate more if asked to donate in advance, conditionally on positive outcome. Also, people who have just failed to win a bonus are particularly unlikely to donate (relative to winners or relative to those with no possibility of a gain).


Practical relevance

No particular relevance to EA; general not superpower

Use cases

Founders pledge, GWWC_pledge, Dartmouth founders project, City Bonus Pledge (proposed), Haas MBA 101% Giving campaign



Key papers

Secondary papers

Contributors David Reinstein

Enter your comment. Wiki syntax is allowed:
J G U​ A S
  • tools/give_if_you_win.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/08/02 21:57
  • by david