'Feel The Warmth' Glow: A Field Experiment On Manipulating The Act Of Giving

Chuan, Amanda; Samak, Anya C. (Savikhin), (2013). 'Feel The Warmth' Glow: A Field Experiment On Manipulating The Act Of Giving. Ssrn Electronic Journal, , , .



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In a door-to-door fundraising campaign (n = 1,536), volunteers asked households to support a local charity that provides blankets to families in need. Solicitors explained that holiday cards would accompany the blankets funded by donors. They told the control group that cards had been pre-written, but gave the treatment group the option of writing messages. Contrary to the researchers’ hypothesis, households in the treatment group were 20% less likely to donate. They conclude that the opportunity to write a card may drive up the cost of giving in multiple ways: 1) more social pressure to accompany the personal gesture with a larger gift amount, 2) increased time to complete a transaction, and/or 3) additional need to make two decisions – whether to give, and whether to write a card – rather than one (Chuan and Samak 2013).


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