The Kindness Card Experiment


Here are some commonly asked questions.

  1. 1. What is the kindness card experiment?

    The Kindness Card experiment is an initiative to recognize, reward, and spread kindness in New York City and beyond. To participate, all you have to do is be kind to people—someone with a Kindness Card might notice and give you one. Receiving the Kindness Card will allow you to redeem a $10 reward or have us donate $10 to a charity of your choice from among a selection of eligible local charities.

  2. 2. Why the Kindness Card?

    61% of New Yorkers say it had been less than a day since someone last did something kind for them.1 So why does New York get such a bad rap for being a rude city? The Kindness Card Experiment is an initiative to see just how kind New Yorkers are. It’s also intended to create more meaningful connections between residents of the city because studies show that it can generate a positive response socially, emotionally, and even physically.2 We believe spreading kindness has more impact day to day than we realize.

    Fun Facts on Kindness

    • Simply watching someone else do good deeds inspires people to help out too. Not only does kindness elevate our moods, but we act more altruistic too!3
    • Studies show that when people give to charity, it activates a region of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust and believe it releases endorphins in the brain called “helper’s high.”4
    • One study shows that when one person behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people. In fact, the researchers found that altruism could spread by three degrees—from person to person to person to person. “As a result,” they write, “each person in a network can influence dozens or even hundreds of people, some of whom he or she does not know and has not met.”4
    • People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression and high rates of self-esteem.5
    • Strong social connections strengthen our immune system and lead to a 50% increased chance of longevity.6
    • Research has routinely shown that people act more benevolently than self-interest would seem to predict ~ people are drawn to pro-social behavior and they are happier when acting this way!7
    • Through decades of study and research, we know that “human beings are inherently sympathetic to the fates of others beyond themselves” and societies that flourish rely on this sympathy.8 It makes sense then that if we want to make our communities better, we need to be better to each other.

  3. 3. How long is this experiment?

    The experiment will be over by 6/30/17. From then on, Kindness Cards can no longer be activated. The final results of the experiment will be posted on our site and social media channels soon after the end of the experiment.

  4. 4. Where is the money from?

    The Kindness Card experiment is sponsored by an anonymous group of New Yorkers who want to see how kind the city of NY really is and share their findings with the rest of the world.

  5. 5. What do you do to get one?

    There are currently thousands of Kindness Cards in NYC. Just perform a kind act and someone with the Kindness Card might notice and might give you one as a reward! Although there is no need to wait for a Kindness Card to act kind!

  6. 6. What can I do with it? Is it money? Coupons?

    After you activate the card, you get the choice of whether to redeem the $10 for an e-gift card to a retailer of your choice or have us donate $10 to a charity of your choice from among a selection of eligible local charities. If you select an e-gift card, the e-gift card will be emailed to you and the terms and conditions applicable to the e-gift card can be read within the email. It’s really your choice; whichever feels right to you is the best thing to do.

    Eligible Charities:

  7. 7. Why do I pass it on in 24 hrs?

    Passing the card within 24 hours allows kindness to spread fast within NYC and acknowledge as many acts as possible before the experiment ends. The more stories of kindness we can share the better!

  8. 8. How long will it take to get my reward? Does my reward expire?

    Immediately after completing your e-gift card selection, an email will be sent to you with your e-gift card. You can use it immediately (online or in stores) after you receive it, and it does not expire. You should consult the full terms and conditions provided by the e-gift card distributor for more information.

  9. 9. How do the donations work?

    If you choose the donation option instead of redeeming the reward, we will donate $10 to a charity of your choosing, from among a selection of eligible local charities. The donation will be aggregated with all other donations to your selected charity, and therefore the donation will not be made under your name and will not be tax deductible by you. If you choose to donate, your donation has a “multiplier effect” – the rewards for your act of kindness results in an act of kindness towards a local charity also performing kind acts for others.

  10. 10. Will you use my information?

    We will not use your information for any commercial purposes. The info you’ll provide on the website will allow everyone to see where kind acts have happened and how kindness connects us all. This is not a marketing or business effort in any way. We simply wish to spread kindness throughout the city.

    For specific information about what information we collect and how it may be used, please consult the privacy policy available on this website.

  1. Based on a Stanford study:
  7. The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith (1759)
hide id