Can Tailored Communications Motivate Volunteers? A Field Experiment
Omar Al-Ubaydli () and
Min Sok Lee
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Min Sok Lee: Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation
No 1023, Working Papers from George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science
Over 25% of the US population volunteers. Clary et al. (1998) devised a survey that identifies a volunteer's primary motive for volunteering. We investigate the effect of tailoring the communications that volunteers receive from their organizations (e.g., printed newsletters, update emails) to each volunteer's stated motive for volunteering affects volunteer performance. We find that in general, such tailoring has no effect, but that for volunteers who are motivated primarily by the pursuit of career-related benefits, such tailoring can have a substantial, positive effect on hours volunteered. We also find that the (in)effectiveness of this tailoring does not depend upon the volunteers' knowledge of the tailoring. The tailoring of communications does not involve the explicit manipulation of material incentives. This renders it particularly attractive given the emergence of evidence on how extrinsic incentives can crowd out intrinsic incentives, especially in the domain of charitable contributions.
Keywords: volunteering; charitable contributions; priming; stereotype (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 L31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Can tailored communications motivate volunteers? A field experiment (2011)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gms:wpaper:1023
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