Can Tailored Communications Motivate Environmental Volunteers? A Natural Field Experiment

Posted: 7 Jun 2011

See all articles by Omar Al-Ubaydli

Omar Al-Ubaydli

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Derasat; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Min Sok Lee

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 7, 2011

Abstract

Volunteering is a significant component of economic activity, especially for environmental organizations. Environmental organizations that rely on volunteers communicate with them using a variety of media, such as newsletters. This is a field experiment investigating whether tailoring the content of these communications to the stated motivations of a volunteer has a positive effect on the number of hours he/she volunteers. For the non-profit in our study, we find that such tailoring has an effect only for volunteers motivated primarily by career concerns. We also find this to be robust to the volunteers being aware that the tailoring is occurring.

Keywords: D64, L31

JEL Classification: volunteering, charitable contributions, priming, stereotype

Suggested Citation

Al-Ubaydli, Omar and Lee, Min Sok, Can Tailored Communications Motivate Environmental Volunteers? A Natural Field Experiment (June 7, 2011). American Economic Review, Vol. 101, No. 3, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1859105

Omar Al-Ubaydli (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4538 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Derasat ( email )

Bahrain

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Min Sok Lee

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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