The ABCs of Charitable Solicitation
A substantial experimental literature suggests that a personal solicitation is an effective way to induce people to make charitable donations. We examine whether this result generalizes to a non-experimental setting. Specifically, we estimate the effect of a marginal personal solicitation 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. Our main finding is that location in the alphabet -- and hence, a personal solicitation -- has a strong effect on probability of making a gift. A rough estimate of the elasticity of the probability of giving with respect to the probability of receiving a personal solicitation is 0.15. However, there is no statistically discernible effect on the amount given, conditional on donating. We also find that women respond more strongly to a personal solicitation than men. This is consistent with a robust result in the psychology literature, that women find it more difficult than men to refuse requests that they perceive as being legitimate.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2011. "The ABCs of charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 363-371, June.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Heckman, James, 2013.
"Sample selection bias as a specification error,"
Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
- Alpizar, Francisco & Carlson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008.
"Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica,"
dp-08-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
- Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity: Evidence from voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1047-1060, June.
- 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.
- 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.
- John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- David Lucking-Reiley & John List, 2002. "The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: Experimental evidence from a university capital campaign," Natural Field Experiments 00301, The Field Experiments Website.
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
- Morgan, John & Sefton, Martin, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810, October.
- Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2005.
"Admission to Selective Schools, Alphabetically,"
CERGE-EI Working Papers
wp282, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
- Bariş K. Yörük, 2006.
"How Responsive are Charitable Donors to Requests to Give?,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
653, Boston College Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Craig Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2005.
"Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment,"
NBER Working Papers
11611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782, May.
- Andreas Lange & Craig Landry & John List & Michael Price & Nicholas Rupp, 2006. "Toward an understanding of the economics of charity: Evidence from a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00292, The Field Experiments Website.
- Brendan M. Cunningham & Carlena K. Cochi-Ficano, 2002. "The Determinants of Donative Revenue Flows from Alumni of Higher Education: An Empirical Inquiry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 540-569.
- Leung, S.F. & Yu, S., 1992.
"On the Choice Between Sample Selection and Two-Part Models,"
RCER Working Papers
337, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
- Monks, James, 2003. "Patterns of giving to one's alma mater among young graduates from selective institutions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 121-130, April.
- Jonathan Meer & Harvey S. Rosen, 2009. "Altruism and the Child Cycle of Alumni Donations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 258-86, February.
- Lisa R. Anderson & Sarah L. Stafford, 2009. "An Experimental Study of the Effect of Announcements on Public Goods Contributions," Working Papers 82, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
- Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran & Shephard, Andrew, 2012.
"Comparing charitable fundraising schemes: Evidence from a field experiment and a structural model,"
Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change
SP II 2012-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Steffen Huck & Imran Rasul & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment and a Structural Model," Working Papers 1381, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Duan, Naihua, et al, 1984. "Choosing between the Sample-Selection Model and the Multi-part Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(3), pages 283-89, July.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003.
"Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
- 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.
- Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Christopher L. Smith, 2001. "The Sources and Uses of Annual Giving at Private Research Universities," NBER Working Papers 8307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Liran Einav & Leeat Yariv, 2006. "What's in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 175-187, Winter.
- Burton A Weisbrod Jeffrey Ballou Evelyn D Asch, 2008. "Mission and Money Understanding the University," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5630ce592f8a494587fd4a2ea, Mathematica Policy Research.
- repec:mpr:mprres:6050 is not listed on IDEAS
- van Diepen, M. & Donkers, A.C.D. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2006. "Dynamic and Competitive Effects of Direct Mailings," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-050-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15037. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.