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How responsive are charitable donors to requests to give?

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  • Yörük, BarIs K.

Abstract

People are more likely to contribute to a charity when they are asked to. Although this so-called 'power of asking' is well-known among fundraisers, the existing literature does not pay much attention to the role of donation requests in charitable giving. This paper uses a unique survey that includes a question on whether the respondent is asked to give to estimate the causal effects of charitable solicitations on giving behavior. In order to address the endogeneity of the donation requests due to non-random solicitation of charitable donors, I link this survey to IRS data on charitable organizations and propose identifying instruments. After controlling for the endogeneity, I find that donation requests increase the propensity to give by about nineteen percentage points for those who are asked to give. This effect is robust under different specifications and with different sets of instruments, and is much larger than the estimates from univariate models, which assume that charitable solicitations are exogenous. I argue that this result is counterintuitive and discuss some possible explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yörük, BarIs K., 2009. "How responsive are charitable donors to requests to give?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1111-1117, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:9-10:p:1111-1117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yörük, Barış K., 2014. "Does giving to charity lead to better health? Evidence from tax subsidies for charitable giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 71-83.
    2. Murat C. Mungan & Bariş K. Yörük, 2012. "Fundraising and Optimal Policy Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(4), pages 625-652, August.
    3. Barış Yörük, 2012. "Do fundraisers select charitable donors based on gender and race? Evidence from survey data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 219-243, January.
    4. Yörük Bariş K., 2015. "Do Charitable Subsidies Crowd Out Political Giving? The Missing Link between Charitable and Political Contributions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-29, January.
    5. David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2015. "Can you spare some change for charity? Experimental evidence on verbal cues and loose change effects in a Dictator Game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 718-730, December.
    6. repec:pri:cepsud:173rosen is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yörük, BarIs K., 2008. "The power of asking in volunteering: Evidence from a matched sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 79-84, April.
    8. Sanders, Michael & Smith, Sarah, 2016. "Can simple prompts increase bequest giving? Field evidence from a legal call centre," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 179-191.
    9. sarah Brown & Mark N Harris & Karl Taylor, 2010. "Modelling Charitable Donations: A Latent Class Panel Approach," Working Papers 2010017, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2010.
    10. Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2011. "The ABCs of charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 363-371, June.
    11. Baris Yoruk, 2013. "Are Generous People More Likely to Vote?," Discussion Papers 13-10, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    12. Name, Alvaro Jose, 2014. "Learning by Fund-raising," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1408, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Charitable contributions Fundraising Power of asking;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy

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