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Small is beautiful: Experimental evidence of donors' preferences for charities

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  • Borgloh, Sarah
  • Dannenberg, Astrid
  • Aretz, Bodo

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of information about a charity's size on individuals' donations to that charity. We conducted a framed field experiment with a non-student sample, in which subjects had the opportunity to donate for various charitable purposes. The results show that if subjects are to choose between large organizations with high annual revenues and small organizations with low revenues, they prefer the small organizations. We also provide insights why donors prefer the small organizations and discriminate between different theoretical approaches. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 10-052.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10052

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Keywords: charitable contributions; information; framed field experiment; fundraising;

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References

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  1. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
  2. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
  3. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail, 2011. "Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 334-343, June.
  6. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
  8. Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2011. "Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 180-205, February.
  9. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
  10. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  14. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
  15. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Jade Wong & Andreas Ortman, 2013. "Do Donors Care About the Price of Giving? A Review of the Evidence, with Some Theory to Organize It," Discussion Papers 2013-22, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Ivo Bischoff & Thomas Krauskopf, 2013. "Motives of pro-social behavior in individual versus collective decisions – a comparative experimental study," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201319, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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