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

Listed author(s):
  • Adena, Maja
  • Huck, Steffen

We study an online fundraising campaign run on an opera ticket booking plat-form. 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 im-pacts on giving. Second, we demonstrate that small, apparently superficial chang-es in the design of a campaign can have unexpectedly large consequences (offset-ting 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 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 €16-32, while average charitable income from the same group during the campaign is just €0.26.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/130712/1/857563793.pdf
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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2016-306.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2016306
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  1. Mette Trier Damgaard & Christiana Gravert, 2016. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Economics Working Papers 2016-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  2. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Experimental evidence of self-image concerns as motivation for giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 19-27.
  3. Meer, Jonathan, 2014. "Effects of the price of charitable giving: Evidence from an online crowdfunding platform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 113-124.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers 1128, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
  6. David Reiley & Anya Samek, 2015. "How Do Suggested Donations Affect Charitable Gifts? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Public Broadcasting," Natural Field Experiments 00422, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. repec:pri:rpdevs:instruments_of_development is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Charitable Giving and Nonbinding Contribution-Level Suggestions - Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, May.
  9. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  10. Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Self-signaling and social-signaling in giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 26-39.
  11. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton%20instruments%20of%20development%20keynes%20lecture%202009 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan & Wardell, Clarence, 2014. "Fundraising through online social networks: A field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 29-35.
  13. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton%20instruments%20of%20development%20keynes%20lecture%202009.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Christine L. Exley & Ragan Petrie, 2016. "The Impact of a Surprise Donation Ask," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-101, Harvard Business School, revised Dec 2017.
  15. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Ray Fisman & Brian Mcmanus, 2012. "Charity as a Substitute for Reputation: Evidence from an Online Marketplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1441-1468.
  16. repec:pri:rpdevs:instruments_of_development.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
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