Philanthropy and fundraising sometimes involve making that all-important call to a potential donor. It can be a thankless, depressing job. In this university podcast, Wharton associate professor Adam Grant shares research about the effectiveness of paid and volunteer call centers. Noting what executives and nonprofit leaders think are the most effective interventions to motivate fundraisers—and why those are dead wrong –- he discusses what can be done to help money-soliciting callers become more enthused and successful. The talk should be of interest both to managers who supervise callers and to fundraisers themselves. Grant spoke at Small Steps Big Leaps: The Science of Getting People to Do the Right Thing, an event sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Adam Grant is an associate professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on work motivation, job design, prosocial helping and giving behaviors, meaningful work, initiative and proactive behaviors, and employee well-being. He has taught executive education, consulted, and presented for a variety of clients. His articles have been published in a wide range of leading management and psychology journals. Grant has also served as director of Let’s Go Advertising Sales. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in organizational psychology and his BA from Harvard University.