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How does fundraising affect volunteering? Evidence from a natural field experiment

Michael Yeomans and Omar Al-Ubaydli

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2018, vol. 64, issue C, 57-72

Abstract: Can fundraising solicitations have an effect on other types of giving, like volunteering? We report results from a field experiment in which a non-profit firm asked their current volunteers to donate money, in a randomly-staggered roll-out. We observe volunteers’ entire portfolio of giving to the firm – both donations, and volunteer hours before and after the call. Overall, these results suggested there was some decline in volunteer hours among volunteers who were newer to the firm. By contrast, long-time volunteers maintained their volunteering after the call, and were also more likely to donate in the first place. Substitution was rare, as the donors themselves did not decrease their volunteer hours after donating. Our findings provide new evidence for how personal history can shape charitable giving decisions, and provide new practical guidance for fundraisers.

Keywords: Charitable giving; Volunteering; Fundraising; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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