23 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 22, 2013
We conducted a field experiment with a charitable group to investigate whether giving the donor an option to write a personal message to the recipient influences giving behavior. Over 1,500 households were approached in a door-to-door campaign and randomized to either a control or a treatment in which donors could include a card for the recipient. We predict that treatment should increase contributions through making the gift more meaningful, but may also decrease contribution rate by increasing the social or other cost of donating. We find evidence in favor of the cost effect, and no evidence of increased giving.
Keywords: field experiment, altruism, meaning, social pressure
JEL Classification: C93, H41, D64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Chuan, Amanda and Samek, Anya Savikhin, 'Feel the Warmth' Glow: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Act of Giving (October 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2343966