Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Even a Penny Will Help – Definition
  3. Operating Mechanisms
  4. Examples of Utilization


The effectiveness of the Even a Penny Will Help technique was demonstrated by Robert Cialdini and David Schroeder (1976, cited in: Doliński 2008). In their experiment, researchers posed as members of the American Cancer Society, collecting donations for cancer research. It was shown that when the request ended with the phrase “even a penny will help,” 21% more participants reached into their pockets compared to the control group (50% vs. 29%). Additionally, the average donation amount was almost the same. Therefore, in the experimental condition (with the “even a penny will help” message), significantly more money was raised.

Even a Penny Will Help – Definition

If you conclude a fundraising request with the phrase “even a penny will help,” there is a higher likelihood that the request will be fulfilled.

This technique is socially beneficial, significantly boosting the revenue of various charitable institutions.

There is some risk associated with this technique, as it can be exploited by scammers posing as charitable institutions. Therefore, even when you hear “even a penny will help,” it’s essential to reflect and verify whom you are donating to.

The technique works best as a verbally formulated message.

Operating Mechanisms

  • It’s easier to fulfill a small request than a large one.
  • We can’t say “I can’t afford it” – it’s harder to justify to ourselves and others for not providing assistance.

Examples of Utilization

  • Charity fundraisers;
  • Encouraging people to vote – “even a vote will help.”;


  1. Doliński, D. (2008). Techniques of Social Influence. Warsaw: SCHOLAR.
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