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Do Appeals to Donor Benefits Raise More Money than Appeals to Recipient Benefits? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment with Pick.Click.Give

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  • John A. List
  • James J. Murphy
  • Michael K. Price
  • Alexander G. James

Abstract

We partnered with Alaska’s Pick.Click.Give. Charitable Contributions Program to implement a statewide natural field experiment with 540,000 Alaskans designed to explore whether targeted appeals emphasizing donor benefits through warm glow impact donations. Results highlight the relative import of appeals to self. Individuals who received such an appeal were 4.5 percent more likely to give and gave 20 percent more than counterparts in the control group. Yet, a message that instead appealed to recipient benefits had no effect on average donations relative to the control group. We also find evidence of long-run effects of warm glow appeals in the subsequent year.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. List & James J. Murphy & Michael K. Price & Alexander G. James, 2019. "Do Appeals to Donor Benefits Raise More Money than Appeals to Recipient Benefits? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment with Pick.Click.Give," NBER Working Papers 26559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26559
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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Grodeck & Philipp Schoenegger, 2022. "Demanding the Morally Demanding: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Moral Arguments and Moral Demandingness on Charitable Giving," Monash Economics Working Papers 2022-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Bittschi, Benjamin & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2021. "Water the flowers you want to grow? Evidence on private recognition and donor loyalty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    3. Alt, Marius & Gallier, Carlo, 2021. "Incentives and intertemporal behavioral spillovers: A two-period experiment on charitable giving," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-010, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Indranil Goswami & Indranil Goswami, 2020. "No Substitute for the Real Thing: The Importance of In-Context Field Experiments in Fundraising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(6), pages 1052-1070, November.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise

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