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Does Fundraising Create New Giving?

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  • Jonathan Meer

Abstract

Despite an extensive literature on the impacts of a variety of charitable fundraising techniques, little is known about whether these activities increase overall giving or merely cause donors to substitute away from other causes. Using detailed data from Donorschoose.org, an online platform linking teachers with prospective donors, I examine the extent to which matching grants for donations to certain requests affect giving to others. Eligibility for matches is determined in entirely by observable attributes of the request, providing an exogenous source of variation in incentives to donate to between charities. I find that, while matches increase giving to eligible requests, they do not appear to crowd out giving to similar ones, either contemporaneously or over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Meer, 2016. "Does Fundraising Create New Giving?," NBER Working Papers 22033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22033
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:45-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kimberley Ann Scharf & Sarah Smith & Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, 2017. "Lift and Shift: The Effect of Fundraising Interventions in Charity Space and Time," CESifo Working Paper Series 6694, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:356-371 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2017. "Narrow framing in charitable giving: Results from a two-period field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2017-305, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Epperson, Raphael & Reif, Christiane, 2018. "Matching schemes and public goods: A review," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-070, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2018. "Giving once, giving twice: A two-period field experiment on inter-temporal crowding in charitable giving," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2017-305r, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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