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Online fundraising, self-image, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance

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  • Adena, Maja
  • Huck, Steffen

Abstract

We study an online fundraising campaign run on an opera ticket booking platform. After establishing a baseline, a first change doubled the donation grid. A second change altered the navigation of the website rendering the act of declining to donate more salient. The contribution of our paper is fourfold. First, we add to the literature on defaults by showing how donation grids can have dramatic impacts on giving. Second, we demonstrate that small, apparently superficial changes in the design of a campaign can have unexpectedly large consequences (offsetting the effects of changes in the choice architecture). Third, we provide the first field evidence for the role of self-image in charitable giving. Finally, we provide stark evidence on possible adverse long-run effects of fundraising campaigns for ticket selling entities. “Avoiding the ask,” non-frequent customers buy fewer tickets in the following opera season. Ticket sales per person fall by €35, while average charitable income from the same group during the campaign had been just under €0.12.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145535
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:75-100 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Adena, Maja & Alizade, Jeyhun & Bohner, Frauke & Harke, Julian & Mesters, Fabio, 2019. "Quality certification for nonprofits, charitable giving, and donor's trust: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 75-100.
    3. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2017. "Matching Donations Without Crowding Out?," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 16, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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