Embroidered T-shirts, discounted tickets, exclusive concerts, and other charity carrots can sometimes rouse people to donate more time and money to nonprofits. But incentives can also stifle giving, finds Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of Predictably Irrational. With his colleagues, Ariely shows that when donors’ gifts are public, nonprofits need not gild the lily by offering trinkets—social approbation is reward enough....

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