How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People's Donations to Fund Public Goods?

20 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018

See all articles by Dean Karlan

Dean Karlan

Northwestern University

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

We conducted two matching grant experiments with an international development charity. The primary experiment finds that a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation raises more funds than a matching grant from an anonymous donor. The effect persists and is strongest for donors who previously gave to other poverty-oriented charities. Combining these insights with survey results, we conclude that our matching gift primarily works through a quality signal mechanism. Overall, the results help to clarify why people give to charity, what models help to describe those motivations, and how practitioners can leverage economics to increase their fundraising potential.

Keywords: public goods, charitable fundraising, asymmetric information, matching grant

JEL Classification: D12, D71, D82, H41, O12

Suggested Citation

Karlan, Dean and List, John A., How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People's Donations to Fund Public Goods? (March 2018). Buffett Institute Global Poverty Research Lab Working Paper No. 18-106. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3135477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3135477

Dean Karlan (Contact Author)

Northwestern University

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
23
Abstract Views
369
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information