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How to Successfully Beg for Money

Begging is not exactly a noble pursuit, but if you're going to do it, do it well.


  • Step 1: Look nice Look nice. When Dress for Success author John T. Malloy wore a shirt and pants and asked people in Manhattan for money to get home, he collected $7. When he put on a tie, he made $26.
  • Step 2: Stand in front of bakery Stand in front of a bakery. Studies show that pleasant aromas boost generosity.
  • Step 3: Use pique technique Use the "pique technique." Research shows that asking for an odd amount of money—like, 37 cents—is usually more successful than asking for a quarter, because people assume you have a good reason.
  • TIP: Hide your wine bottle. Beggars who look like they'll use the money for drugs or alcohol get fewer donations.
  • Step 4: Hold sign about them Hold a sign that's about them—not you. One marketing intern convinced a panhandler to switch from "Help me. I'm homeless," to "If you give once a month, please consider me next time"—and her intake soared.
  • FACT: According to one study, males give to panhandlers four to one over females.

You Will Need

  • A nice outfit
  • A good location
  • A sign

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