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Online fundraising, self-deception, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance

Maja Adena () and Steffen Huck ()

Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: We study an online fundraising campaign run on an opera ticket booking plat-form. After establishing a baseline, a first change doubled the donation grid. A second change altered the navigation of the website rendering the act of declining to donate more salient. The contribution of our paper is fourfold. First, we add to the literature on defaults by showing how donation grids can have dramatic im-pacts on giving. Second, we demonstrate that small, apparently superficial chang-es in the design of a campaign can have unexpectedly large consequences (offset-ting the effects of changes in the choice architecture). Third, we provide the first field evidence for the role of self-image in charitable giving. Finally, we provide stark evidence on adverse long-run effects of fundraising campaigns for ticket selling entities. "Avoiding the ask," non-frequent customers buy fewer tickets in the following opera season. Ticket sales per person fall by €16-32, while average charitable income from the same group during the campaign is just €0.26.

Keywords: online fundraising; quasi-experiment; self-image (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D03 D12 D64 L31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2016306

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