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The ABCs of charitable solicitation

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  • Meer, Jonathan
  • Rosen, Harvey S.

Abstract

We estimate the effect of a marginal personal solicitation after receiving two to four non-personal solicitations 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2011. "The ABCs of charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 363-371.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:5:p:363-371 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2010.07.009
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    Cited by:

    1. 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, September.
    2. 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 170-188, July.
    3. Meer, Jonathan, 2011. "Brother, can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 926-941.
    4. Edwards, James T. & List, John A., 2014. "Toward an understanding of why suggestions work in charitable fundraising: Theory and evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-13.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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, pages 219-243.
    7. Reyniers, Diane & Bhalla, Richa, 2013. "Reluctant altruism and peer pressure in charitable giving," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. 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.
    9. Nadine Chlaß & Lata Gangadharan & Kristy Jones, 2015. "Charitable giving and intermediation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-021, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Jonathan Meer, 2009. "Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Peer Effects in Charitable Solicitation," Discussion Papers 08-035, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    11. 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.
    12. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2014. "Favor trading in public good provision," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 439-460, September.
    13. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/326 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bruttel, Lisa & Stolley, Florian & Utikal, Verena, 2017. "Getting a Yes. An Experiment on the Power of Asking," MPRA Paper 79140, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Meer, Jonathan, 2017. "Does fundraising create new giving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 82-93.
    16. Daniel Ortega & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Don't Blame the Messenger: A Field Experiment on Delivery Methods for Increasing Tax Compliance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 91741, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Name, Alvaro Jose, 2014. "Learning by Fund-raising," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1408, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    18. Daniel Ortega & Carlos Scartascini, 2015. "Don't Blame the Messenger: A Field Experiment on Delivery Methods for Increasing Tax Compliance," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7284, Inter-American Development Bank.
    19. Meer, Jonathan, 2017. "Does fundraising create new giving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 82-93.
    20. Michael Sanders & Sarah Smith, 2014. "A warm glow in the after life? The determinants of charitable bequests," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/326, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    21. Name-Correa, Alvaro J. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2016. "“Giving” in to social pressure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 99-116.
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
    24. Ugur, Z.B., 2013. "From headscarves to donation : Three essays on the economics of gender, health and happiness," Other publications TiSEM 9cfb068c-c08e-47aa-8c44-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    25. Huseyin Yildirim & Alvaro Name Correa, 2011. "A Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising with Costly Solicitations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000222, David K. Levine.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Charitable solicitation;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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