An Empathy‐Helping Perspective on Consumers’ Responses to Fund‐Raising Appeals

13 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2014

See all articles by Robert Fisher

Robert Fisher

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Mark Vandenbosch

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business

Kersi Antia

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

The research examines viewers’ actual responses to four televised fund‐raising drives by a public television station over a 2‐year period. The 584 pledge breaks we studied contain 4,868 individual appeals that were decomposed into two underlying dimensions based on the empathy‐helping hypothesis: the appeal beneficiary (self versus other) and emotional valence (positive versus negative). We find that the most effective fund‐raising appeals communicate the benefits to others rather than to the self and evoke negative rather than positive emotions. Appeals that emphasize benefits to the self significantly reduce the number of calls to the station, particularly when they have a positive emotional valence.

Keywords: Advertising, Charity and Gift Giving, Economic Theories and Analysis, Panel Data Analysis (Scanner, Diary, etc.)

Suggested Citation

Fisher, Robert and Vandenbosch, Mark and Antia, Kersi, An Empathy‐Helping Perspective on Consumers’ Responses to Fund‐Raising Appeals (October 1, 2007). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2008; University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-369. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274840

Robert Fisher (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Mark Vandenbosch

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

Kersi Antia

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

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