67 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2007 Last revised: 30 Oct 2007
Date Written: October 28, 2007
We present an overview of the academic literature on philanthropy, divided in two parts: 1. Who gives how much; 2. Why people give. In part 1 we survey the literature on characteristics of individuals and households that are related to giving. In part 2, we identify eight mechanisms as the most important forces that drive giving: (1) awareness of need; (2) solicitation; (3) costs and benefits; (4) altruism; (5) reputation; (6) psychological benefits; (7) values; (8) efficacy. We evaluate the progress in the almost 500 studies we reviewed and suggest directions for future research on philanthropy.
Keywords: philanthropy, charitable giving, donations, theory, fund raising
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