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Voluntary "donations" versus reward-oriented "contributions": Two experiments on framing in funding mechanisms

Maja Adena () and Steffen Huck

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

Abstract: In an artefactual field experiment we implement a crowdfunding campaign for a club good-an institute's summer party with free food, drinks, and music-and compare "donation" and "contribution" framings. We find that the "donation" frame generates higher income than the "contribution" frame. While individuals in the "donation" frame give substantially larger amounts, the individuals in the "contribution" frame respond more strongly to reward thresholds and suggestions. An additional survey experiment on M-Turk indicates that the term "donation" triggers more positive emotional responses, and that emotions are highly correlated with giving. It appears that making a "donation" is perceived as a more voluntary act and is, thus, more successful at generating warm glow than making a "contribution". We conjecture that this extends to other funding mechanisms.

Keywords: crowdfunding; field experiment; framing; suggestions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D12 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-ore
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