Using the MINDSPACE framework to help supporters make positive choices: FREE download!

Mindspace - Helping Supporters Choose | Cover Illustration

Mindspace - Helping Supporters Choose | CoverIf you are looking to encourage supporters or audiences to make gifts you need a decision-making strategy, and you also need a framework to help you design this. One of the most popular and widely used frameworks is called MINDSPACE. This model takes you through a number of key principles, asking you to identify drivers that will encourage your audience to take the action you desire. MINDSPACE itself is an acronym designed to help you remember the key drivers. This is the model the =mc consulting / Decision Science team used when coaching the agencies involved in the world’s largest arts and cultural fundraising experiment.

Note that you are not trying to create a perfect strategy by including a these elements. Some will be more important than others in certain circumstances – in one circumstance the messenger might be the key issue, and in another the default. As we discovered during the arts experiments we conducted you need to trial various different options to discover which is most effective.

The model asks you to consider:

  • Messenger: who are we are most likely to be influenced by? Who would be most appropriate to deliver the message?
  • Incentive: our brains are wired to maximise rewards strongly avoid losses. How should we encourage our key audience to take action?
  • Are: our behaviours are strongly influenced by others. How do we create a sense of momentum and commonality across a target audience?
  • Defaults: we tend to go with the flow of preset options offered. How can we create an attractive, acceptable, and ethical choice?
  • Salience: our attention is drawn to that which is novel and seems relevant to us. How can we secure the attention and make messages memorable?
  • Priming: our actions are often influenced by subconscious cues, and their sequence in which we receive those cues. What’s the best sequence?
  • Affect: our emotions powerfully shape our actions. What are the emotions we are trying to stimulate create those in our target audience?
  • Commitments: we seek to be consistent in our actions. How can we encourage our target audience to make commitments to donating?
  • Ego: we act in ways which make us feel better about ourselves, and which reinforce our identity. How can we reinforce a philanthropic identity?

The 60 page download will provide you with all the information you need to design a framework with lots of practical hints and key studies from arts and cultural fundraising and wider.

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Written by Bernard Ross

Want to know more? Or keen to apply the MINDSPACE model to your work?

Contact the director of the =mc consulting / Decision Science team, Bernard Ross (


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