Does Irritation Induced by Charitable Direct Mailings Reduce Donations?

41 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008

See all articles by M. van Diepen

M. van Diepen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Bas Donkers

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM); Tinbergen Institute

Philip Hans Franses

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Econometrics

Date Written: 30 2008 6,

Abstract

Charities mainly rely on direct mailings to attract the attention of potential donators. Individuals may feel irritated by these mailings, in particular when they receive many mailings. We study the consequences of perceived irritation on stated behavior and on actual behavior. Target selection by charities likely results in good donators receiving many mailings and hence they might also be most irritated. Therefore, irritation with direct mailings might be endogenously determined. To create exogenous variation in irritation, we design a unique controlled field experiment in cooperation with five of the largest charities in the Netherlands. Our analysis reveals that direct mailings do result in irritation, but surprisingly this affects neither stated nor actual donating behavior.

Keywords: direct marketing, irritation, charity donations, field experiment

JEL Classification: C44, M31, M

Suggested Citation

Van Diepen, Merel and Donkers, Bas and Franses, Philip Hans, Does Irritation Induced by Charitable Direct Mailings Reduce Donations? (30 2008 6,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2008-036-MKT, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154287

Merel Van Diepen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Bas Donkers

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, NL 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2411 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9169 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.eur.nl/en/people/bas-donkers

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2411 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9169 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.eur.nl/en/people/bas-donkers

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Philip Hans Franses

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Econometrics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1278 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9162 (Fax)

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