Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The ABCs of Charitable Solicitation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jonathan Meer
  • Harvey S. Rosen

Abstract

A substantial experimental literature suggests that a personal solicitation is an effective way to induce people to make charitable donations. We examine whether this result generalizes to a non-experimental setting. Specifically, we estimate the effect of a marginal personal solicitation using observational data on alumni giving at an anonymous research university, which we refer to as Anon U. At Anon U, volunteers use lists provided by the Development Office to telephone classmates and solicit them for donations. The names on these lists are always in alphabetical order. The volunteers who do the soliciting often run out of time before they reach the end of their lists. These observations suggest a simple strategy for testing whether personal solicitation matters, viz., examine whether alumni with names toward the end of the alphabet are less likely to give than alumni with names toward the beginning, ceteris paribus. If so, then a marginal personal solicitation matters. Our main finding is that location in the alphabet -- and hence, a personal solicitation -- has a strong effect on probability of making a gift. A rough estimate of the elasticity of the probability of giving with respect to the probability of receiving a personal solicitation is 0.15. However, there is no statistically discernible effect on the amount given, conditional on donating. We also find that women respond more strongly to a personal solicitation than men. This is consistent with a robust result in the psychology literature, that women find it more difficult than men to refuse requests that they perceive as being legitimate.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15037.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15037.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2011. "The ABCs of charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 363-371, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15037

Note: ED PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782, May.
  2. Steffen Huck & Imran Rasul & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment and a Structural Model," Working Papers 1381, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  4. Morgan, John & Sefton, Martin, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810, October.
  5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  6. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
  7. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
  8. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2005. "Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp282, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  9. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2007. "Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica," Working Papers in Economics 245, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
  11. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Christopher L. Smith, 2001. "The Sources and Uses of Annual Giving at Private Research Universities," NBER Working Papers 8307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  13. Bariş K. Yörük, 2006. "How Responsive are Charitable Donors to Requests to Give?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 653, Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Jonathan Meer & Harvey S. Rosen, 2009. "Altruism and the Child Cycle of Alumni Donations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 258-86, February.
  15. Monks, James, 2003. "Patterns of giving to one's alma mater among young graduates from selective institutions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 121-130, April.
  16. Liran Einav & Leeat Yariv, 2006. "What's in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 175-187, Winter.
  17. Burton A. Weisbrod & Jeffrey P. Ballou & Evelyn D. Asch, 2008. "Mission and Money: Understanding the University," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6050, Mathematica Policy Research.
  18. Brendan M. Cunningham & Carlena K. Cochi-Ficano, 2002. "The Determinants of Donative Revenue Flows from Alumni of Higher Education: An Empirical Inquiry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 540-569.
  19. Duan, Naihua, et al, 1984. "Choosing between the Sample-Selection Model and the Multi-part Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(3), pages 283-89, July.
  20. van Diepen, M. & Donkers, B. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2006. "Dynamic and Competitive Effects of Direct Mailings," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-050-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  21. Lisa R. Anderson & Sarah L. Stafford, 2009. "An Experimental Study of the Effect of Announcements on Public Goods Contributions," Working Papers 82, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2012. "Favor Trading in Public Good Provision," Working Papers 1032, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  2. Barış K. Yörük, 2012. "The Effect of Media on Charitable Giving and Volunteering: Evidence from the “Give Five” Campaign," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 813-836, 09.
  3. Barış Yörük, 2012. "Do fundraisers select charitable donors based on gender and race? Evidence from survey data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 219-243, January.
  4. Huseyin Yildirim & Alvaro Name Correa, 2011. "A Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising with Costly Solicitations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000222, David K. Levine.
  5. Adam Fremeth & Brian Kelleher Richter & Brandon Schaufele, 2013. "Campaign Contributions over CEOs' Careers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 170-88, July.
  6. Jonathan Meer, 2009. "Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Peer Effects in Charitable Solicitation," Discussion Papers 08-035, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2013. "Can You Spare Some Change For Charity? Experimental Evidence On Verbal Cues And Loose Change Effects In A Dictator Game," Working Papers 1318, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  8. Bariş K. Yörük, 2006. "How Responsive are Charitable Donors to Requests to Give?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 653, Boston College Department of Economics.
  9. Ugur, Z.B., 2013. "From headscarves to donation: Three essays on the economics of gender, health and happiness," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5927864, Tilburg University.
  10. Alvaro Jose Name, 2014. "Learning by Fund-raising," Economics Working Papers we1408, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  11. Meer, Jonathan, 2011. "Brother, can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 926-941.
  12. James T. Edwards & John A. List, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of why Suggestions Work in Charitable Fundraising: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 19665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Diane Reyniers & Richa Bhalla, 2013. "Reluctant altruism and peer pressure in charitable giving," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(1), pages 7-15, January.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15037. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.