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Promises undone: How committed pledges impact donations to charity

Toke R. Fosgaard () and Adriaan Soetevent ()
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Toke R. Fosgaard: Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

No 2018/03, IFRO Working Paper from University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Abstract: The declining use of cash in society urges charities to experiment with digital payment instruments in their o -line fund raising activities. Cash and card payments di er in that the latter do not require individuals to donate at the time of the ask, disconnecting the decision to give from the act of giving. Evidence shows that people who say they will give mostly do not follow through. Our theory shows that having people to formally state the intended amount may alleviate this problem. We report on a field experiment the results of which show that donors who have pledged an amount are indeed more likely to follow through. The firmer the pledge, the more closely the amount donated matches the amount that was pledged. 45% of all participants however refuses to pledge. This proves that donors value exibility over commitment in intertemporal charitable giving.

Keywords: Charitable fundraising; Field experiment; Image motivation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 D91 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2018-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-pay and nep-soc
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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Working Paper: Promises Undone: How Committed Pledges Impact Donations to Charity (2018) Downloads
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