The Giving Experiment

Waving a sign that says “Free Money!” on city streets around the country is a great way to meet people. But what happened next is awe-inspiring. The Life You Can Save, a non-profit dedicated to reducing poverty, has released a short video entitled “The Giving Experiment” which showcases surprising responses from strangers who were offered money with no strings attached – some of the responses prompt laughter, while others make one think.

The organization gave away $2,500 to 85 strangers in six locations (Wall Street, Crown Heights, Union Square, Santa Monica, Seattle and Austin) and those strangers donated $2,421.50 of their newfound money to charity. Eighty three people gave some or all of the money to charity, one walked away with $100, and one ran away with $1 (sadly he ran too fast to sign the appearance release form so the organization couldn’t include him in the video, though it was quite the getaway!).

“We decided to flip the charity equation on its head, offering money to strangers on the street and giving them a choice: they could either keep the money (we gave away between $1 and $250 per person) or donate it to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). We wanted to test, before our eyes, the theory that giving money away makes people happier than keeping it for themselves. Though some people struggled with the decision, nearly everyone was genuinely smiling when they finally decided to donate. A lot of money changed hands, but those who gave it right back seemed the happiest as they walked away,” said Laura Gamse, Media & Outreach Director, The Life You Can Save. (Source PR Newswire)

Happy Holidays,