Podcast Of The Week: Con Artists For Charity

What can con artists teach charities about raising funds? What can con artists teach any of us about asking for assistance, a sale, to join a group, etc.? Quite a bit. Check out “How To Convince People To Give You Money” on the How To with Charles Duhigg podcast.

A quick note on why this podcast, in general, is so cool: Duhigg breaks down repeatable processes really well (he did write a whole book about habits). He takes problems, which range from Dear Abby style “what do I do in this situation” to “how could we approach this better” and then brings in a special guest to help provide an answer. He dissects both the questions and the answers and connects them like a case study. Because the series takes an interdisciplinary approach (ex. con artists and charities), listeners get to hear how all sorts of models apply to a problem that will at least rhyme with something in our own lives and careers.

In this episode he takes a question about charitable fundraising and connects it to Maria Konnikova’s work on how and why con artists are so effective. Any transaction in goods, services, or even trust within relationships is applicable here. We’re all operating with an understanding of another party’s confidence and what we can do to make progress. Clearly, there’s a dark side to this, but the same underlying functions apply for good and evil. If we know how they work, we can better understand how to use them and even sense when they’re being used on us. Give this episode a listen.