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Online fund-raising mechanisms: A field experiment

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  • Yan Chen
  • Xin Li
  • Jeffrey MacKie-Mason

Abstract

We implemented the first web-based online field experiments of fund-raising. We embedded our experiment in the Internet Public Library to test four mechanisms: Voluntary Contribution (VCM), Premium, Seed Money and Matching. Although the gift size is not significantly different across mechanisms, the Seed and Matching mechanisms each generate significantly higher user click-through response rate than the Premium mechanism. Because this is one of the earliest embedded, web-based field experiments, we report our methodology findings in some detail. Cookies work better as participant assignment techniques than pop-up windows and elicitation of geographic information. Participant clickstream data that nominally demonstrate a desire to donate is a poor predictor of actual giving.

Suggested Citation

  • Yan Chen & Xin Li & Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 2006. "Online fund-raising mechanisms: A field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00225, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Potters, Jan & Sefton, Martin & Vesterlund, Lise, 2005. "After you--endogenous sequencing in voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1399-1419, August.
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    3. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
    4. List, John A. & Rondeau, Daniel, 2003. "The impact of challenge gifts on charitable giving: an experimental investigation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 153-159, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
    7. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
    8. Romano, Richard & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2001. "Why charities announce donations: a positive perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 423-447, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2013. "(Un)Informed charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 14-26.
    2. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0126-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gutiérrez Villar, B & Araque Padilla, R. A & Montero Simó, M. J. & Ortega Carpio, M. L., 2009. "Factores de influencia en la captación de recursos privados en las ONGD españolas/Factors of Influence in the Fundraising of the Spanish NGOD," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 785(26á)-78, Diciembre.
    4. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:282-297 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:joreco:v:20:y:2013:i:3:p:263-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2010. "Is a Donor in Hand Better Than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 958-983, June.
    7. Laura Gee & Michael Schreck, 2016. "Do Beliefs About Peers Matter for Donation Matching? Experiments in the Field and Laboratory," Framed Field Experiments 00538, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    9. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
    10. Andreas Lange & Andrew Stocking, 2009. "Charitable Memberships, Volunteering, and Discounts: Evidence from a Large-Scale Online Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 14941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2016. "Online fundraising, self-image, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145535, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Gee, Laura Katherine & Schreck, Michael J., 2017. "Do Beliefs about Peers Matter for Donation Matching? Experiments in the Field and Laboratory," IZA Discussion Papers 10956, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Brian McManus & Richard Bennet, 2008. "The Demand for Products Linked to Public Goods: Evidence from an Online Field Experiment," Working Papers 08-28, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
    14. Gong, Ning & Grundy, Bruce D., 2014. "The design of charitable fund-raising schemes: Matching grants or seed money," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 147-165.
    15. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Matched fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 351-362, June.
    16. Hannes Koppel & Günther G. Schulze, 2009. "On the Channels of Pro-Social Behavior Evidence from a natural field experiment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-102, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    17. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2014. "Reprint of: (Un)Informed charitable giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 108-120.
    18. McManus, Brian & Bennet, Richard, 2011. "The demand for products linked to public goods: Evidence from an online field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 403-415.

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