Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Recognizing donors by revealing their identities is important for increasing charitable giving. We conducted a field experiment to examine how different recognition methods impact giving, and found that all forms of recognition that we examined had a positive impact on increasing donations, whereby recognizing only highest donors (positive recognition) and recognizing only lowest donors (negative recognition) had the most pronounced effect. We argue that selective recognition (both positive and negative) creates tournament-like incentives. Recognizing the highest donors activates the desire to seek a positive prize of prestige, thus increasing the proportion of donors who contribute large amounts. Recognizing the lowest donors activates the desire to avoid a negative prize of shame, thus decreasing the proportion of donors who do not contribute or contribute very little. Therefore, selective recognition is an effective tool that can be used in the field by charities to increase donations.

Comments

Working Paper 15-26

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.