The Paradox of Donation

The other day, my wife was in the check out line. The cashier glanced over at her and asked, “Do you want to make a donation?” It was obvious she was required to ask, and just as obvious that most people said no. What was the donation for? And how much should she donate? $1, $5, $20? Who knows! “No thanks, we donate elsewhere.”

But this morning, I was in Farm Fresh. I was buying food for an office party and I was in a hurry. The cashier looked me in the eye and asked, “Would you like to donate a can of food?” Then she reached over and picked up a can of corn. “It’s only 68 cents. It’s for the Food Bank.”

Corn for the Food Bank

Who could refuse that? The decision was trivial. There was no ambiguity of purpose and no question on the amount. Just a yes or no. Heck, she already had the corn in her hand. A simple, friendly gesture that connected me to the corn – it became personal. It was a no brainer.

There was no paradox of choice, there was only good design!

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