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Crypto Rewards in Fundraising: Evidence from Crypto Donations to Ukraine

Jane, Tan and Yong Tan
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Abstract: Extrinsic incentives such as a conditional thank-you gift have shown both positive and negative impacts on charitable fundraising. Leveraging the crypto donations to a Ukrainian fundraising plea that accepts Ether (i.e., the currency of the Ethereum blockchain) and Bitcoin (i.e., the currency of the Bitcoin blockchain) over a seven-day period, we analyze the impact of crypto rewards that lasted for more than 24 hours. Crypto rewards are newly minted tokens that are usually valueless initially and grow in value if the corresponding cause is well received. Separately, we find that crypto rewards have a positive impact on the donation count but a negative impact on the average donation size for donations from both blockchains. Comparatively, we further find that the crypto rewards lead to an 812.48% stronger donation count increase for Ethereum than Bitcoin, given that the crypto rewards are more likely to be issued on the Ethereum blockchain, which has higher programmability to support smart contracts. We also find a 30.1% stronger decrease in average donation amount from Ethereum for small donations ($\leq \$250$); the rewards pose similar impacts on the average donation size for the two blockchains for large donations ($>\$250$). Our study is the first work to look into crypto rewards as incentives for fundraising. Our findings indicate that the positive effect of crypto rewards is more likely to manifest in donation count, and the negative effect of crypto rewards is more likely to manifest in donation size.

Date: 2022-07, Revised 2022-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-cis, nep-pay and nep-tra
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