Improving campaign success rate by tailoring donation requests along the donor lifecycle
Since charitable fundraising relies heavily on direct mail, this paper studies how tailoring donation requests along the donor lifecycle could improve campaign success rate. Our field study provides a unique combination of three parameters whose combined interaction has not been studied to this date: donor segment, suggested personalized donation amount and social comparison, resulting in a 3 x 3 x 2 between-subjects design. Taking into account the donor’s zone of acceptable prices, we show that for acquiring and reactivating donors the use of a recently suggested donation amount is most effective, whereas for retaining donors, it is preferred to use an average amount. Our results also demonstrate that social comparison is an excellent acquisition strategy, but that it could be harmful when reactivating lapsed donors. Social comparison was not found to have an effect on the donation behavior of current donors.
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