Using Biasing Questions in Charitable Bequest Surveys

9 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

Date Written: March 7, 2016


This study tested three sets of biasing questions for their effects on subsequent ratings of the importance of environmental nonprofit organizations and intentions to make a gift or leave a bequest. Legacy questions asked about the importance of impact on future generations. Family biasing asked about the relationship of family members to the cause. Life questions asked about respondents’ life connections to the cause. In general, pro-charitable responses increased only slightly following each question set, but increased more when the multiple question sets were used together. For charities desiring to increase charitable commitments via a survey instrument, this suggests that there is value in having a longer survey instrument that allows for a greater number of biasing questions.

Keywords: charitable bequest, fundraising, planned giving, charitable giving

JEL Classification: L31

Suggested Citation

James, Russell N., Using Biasing Questions in Charitable Bequest Surveys (March 7, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Russell N. James (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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