“Rage donations” growing in Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Anger and anxiety, fueling Americans to open up their wallets.

“This is kind of an interesting psychological phenomenon,” said Marketing Professor at UB’s School of Management, Indranil Goswami.

He told News 4 the science behind so-called rage donations is pretty simple. When people feel anxious, or a lack of control, they’re more likely to act than when they feel content.

“We’ve seen more calls about how people can help, how people can get activated, what we intend to do. I’ve seen more of those calls in the last two weeks than I’ve seen in the last five years,” said John A. Curr III of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is one of the organizations seeing a spike in both donations and volunteers.

Since the Election, the ACLU has received $13 million nationally, and $56,000 from New York.

Curr, who is the Western Regional Director of the NYCLU, told News 4 people are concerned a Trump administration will hurt civil liberties, so they’re being proactive.

“We’re seeing more from a larger cross section of New Yorkers I think than ever before,” Curr said.

He said all of them are citing the Election as their reason for wanting to be involved.

Celebrities are jumping on board too. Comedian David Cross announced he’ll be donating all profits from his latest stand-up album “Making America Great Again” to the ACLU up until Christmas.

But rage, or anxiety donations don’t just come from Liberals.

“When the Democrats were in power and the issues which Republicans identify with were in jeopardy, for example gun control, they then started contributing to the NRA to make sure their voice is heard and their concerns are met,” Goswami told us.

He said the intensity of donations being seen now is unprecedented, but then again, he said so was this Election cycle.

Planned Parenthood locations in Western New York reported to News 4 they too are seeing a spike in donations.

According to CNN, Planned Parenthood in Indiana and Kentucky have received upwards of $25,000 in donations since Election Day; 90 percent of them were made in Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s name.

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