How Political Identity and Charity Positioning Increase Donations: Insights from Moral Foundations Theory

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(4), 346–354

9 Pages Posted: 3 May 2012 Last revised: 27 Nov 2012

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Yinlong Zhang

University of Texas at San Antonio

Vikas Mittal

Rice University

Date Written: December 1, 2012

Abstract

Marketers can strategically target potential donors based on their political identity. Drawing upon the moral foundations that underlie political identity, we examine conditions in which charity positioning increases donations based on alignment with political identity. In doing so, we demonstrate the moderating role of moral identity internalization, which is a robust predictor of donation behavior. In three studies, our results reveal that when the moral foundations of a charity through management processes (Study 1) or mission (Studies 2 and 3) align with the donor’s political identity, donations increase. This effect is enhanced among those with higher moral identity internalization. These results offer theoretical contributions as well as practical implications for organizations soliciting donations, providing insight into the extent to which charity positioning based on moral foundations can differentially influence donations based on political identity.

Keywords: Political Identity, Liberals, Conservatives, Donation Behavior, Moral Identity, Moral Foundations Theory

Suggested Citation

Winterich, Karen Page and Zhang, Yinlong and Mittal, Vikas, How Political Identity and Charity Positioning Increase Donations: Insights from Moral Foundations Theory (December 1, 2012). International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(4), 346–354. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2049851

Karen Page Winterich (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Yinlong Zhang

University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States

Vikas Mittal

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
250 McNair
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

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