Increasing Fundraising Success by Decreasing Donor Choice
AbstractSuggested contributions, membership categories, and discrete, incremental thank-you gifts are devices often used by benevolent associations that provide public goods. Such devices focus donations into discrete levels, thereby effectively limiting the donors' freedom to give. We study the effects on overall donations of the tradeoff between rigid schemes that severely restrict the choices of contribution on the one hand, and flexible membership contracts on the other, taking into account the strategic response of contributors whose values for the public good are private information. We show flexibility dominates when i) the dispersion of donors' taste for the public good increases, ii) the number of potential donors increases, and iii) there is greater funding by an external authority. Using the number of default membership categories that National Public Radio stations offer as proxy for flexibility, we document the existence of empirical correlations consistent with our predictions: stations offer a larger number of suggested contribution levels as i) the incomes of the population served become more diverse, ii) the population of the coverage area increases, and iii) there is greater external support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1006.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
private provision; categories; restricting donations; heterogeneity; crowding out;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-26 (All new papers)
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.:
- Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
- Barbieri, Stefano & Malueg, David A., 2010.
"Threshold uncertainty in the private-information subscription game,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 848-861, December.
- Stefano Barbieri & David A. Malueg, 2009. "Threshold Uncertainty in the Private-Information Subscription Game," Working Papers 0903, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004.
"Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
- James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
- Martimort, David & Moreira, Humberto, 2010. "Common agency and public good provision under asymmetric information," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(2), May.
- Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001.
"Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism,"
Staff General Research Papers
1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
- Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1997.
"Public Radio in the United States: Does It Correct Market Failure or Cannibalize Commercial Stations?,"
NBER Working Papers
6057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Berry, Steven T. & Waldfogel, Joel, 1999. "Public radio in the United States: does it correct market failure or cannibalize commercial stations?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 189-211, February.
- Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 259-76, April.
- Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
- Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
- Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
- Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
- Nitzan, Shmuel & Romano, Richard E., 1990. "Private provision of a discrete public good with uncertain cost," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 357-370, August.
- McBride, Michael, 2006. "Discrete public goods under threshold uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1181-1199, August.
- Cartwright, Edward & Patel, Amrish, 2012.
"How Category Reporting Can Improve Fundraising,"
Working Papers in Economics
522, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Finlay).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.