Ladies First, Gentlemen Third! The Effect of Narrative Perspective on Medical Crowdfunding
32 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019 Last revised: 25 May 2019
Date Written: April 22, 2019
As medical crowdfunding becomes increasingly popular, many fundraising campaigns fail to collect enough donations for patients in need and therefore it is important to explore how to craft an effective fundraising campaign. In practice, a majority of fundraising campaigns are narrated from the third-person perspective without knowing whether narrating from the third-person perspective is the most effective approach or not. In this research, we draw upon multiple theories and propose that the relative effectiveness of the first- vs. third-person perspective depends on patient gender. To test the hypotheses, we conduct a randomized field experiment on a leading medical crowdfunding platform in China, involving more than 1.2 million potential donors. The empirical results show that the third-person perspective is more effective in motivating donation-related behaviors for male-patient fundraising campaigns, whereas the first-person perspective is more effective for female-patient fundraising campaigns. Furthermore, we find that the choice of the narrative perspectives matters more for potential donors who do not yet have many historical donations or have fewer friends with donations on the focal fundraising campaigns. The findings generate important theoretical and managerial implications for medical crowdfunding.
Keywords: medical crowdfunding, narrative perspective, field experiment, donation, empathy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation