Online Fundraising, Self-Image, and the Long-Term Impact of Ask Avoidance

45 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2016 Last revised: 30 Oct 2018

See all articles by Maja Adena

Maja Adena

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Steffen Huck

University College London - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2, 2018

Abstract

We provide the first field evidence pointing at the role of pure self-image, independent of social image, in charitable giving. In an online fundraising campaign for a social youth project run on an opera ticket booking platform we document how individuals appear to engage in self-deception to preserve their self-image. In addition, we provide evidence on stark adverse long-run effects of the fundraising campaign for ticket sales. “Avoiding the ask,” opera customers who faced more insistent online fundraising buy fewer tickets in the following season. Our results suggest that fundraising management should not decide in isolation about their campaigns, even if very successful. Rather broader operational concerns have to be considered.

Keywords: online fundraising, quasi-experiment, self-image

JEL Classification: D64, D03, D12, C93, L31

Suggested Citation

Adena, Maja and Huck, Steffen, Online Fundraising, Self-Image, and the Long-Term Impact of Ask Avoidance (October 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2769934 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2769934

Maja Adena (Contact Author)

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

Steffen Huck

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 207 679 5895 (Phone)
+44 207 916 2774 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctpshu/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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