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Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment and a Structural Model

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  • Steffen Huck
  • Imran Rasul
  • Andrew Shephard

Abstract

We present evidence from a natural field experiment and structural model to shed light on the efficacy of alternative fundraising schemes. In conjunction with the Bavarian State Opera, we mailed 25,000 opera attendees a letter describing a charitable fundraising project organized by the opera house. Recipients were randomly assigned to treatments designed to explore responses to fundraising schemes varying in: the presence of a lead donor; and how individual donations would be matched using the lead donation. The structural model estimates extensive and intensive margin responses, and is then utilized to predict giving behavior in counterfactual fundraising schemes. (JEL C93, D64, L31, L82)

Suggested Citation

  • Steffen Huck & Imran Rasul & Andrew Shephard, 2015. "Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment and a Structural Model," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 326-369, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:326-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20120312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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