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Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty

Benjamin Bittschi (), Nadja Dwenger and Johannes Rincke

No 8424, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We study donor loyalty in the context of church membership in Germany. Church members have to make substantial payments to their church but can opt out at any time. In a large-scale field experiment, we examine how private recognition for past payments affects church members’ loyalty. We find that recognizing past payments in a letter significantly reduces opt-outs. This effect is driven by members in the bottom quartile of baseline payments to the church. Consistent with optimization frictions prior to the experiment, we observe a spike in opt-outs immediately after treatment for particularly costly memberships.

Keywords: private recognition; donor loyalty; charitable giving; field experiment; recurring donors (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-ore
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Journal Article: Water the flowers you want to grow? Evidence on private recognition and donor loyalty (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty (2020) Downloads
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