Individual Fundraising in Online Charitable Giving

42 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2019

See all articles by Yitian (Sky) Liang

Yitian (Sky) Liang

Tsinghua University - School of Economics and Management

Xinlei Chen

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF)

Juliet Zhu

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Jianbin Chai

Peking University, Guanghua School of Management

Tracy Liu

Tsinghua University

Date Written: June 1, 2019

Abstract

Online individual fundraising has been a prominent component of online charitable giving due to the low cost of online solicitation. While studies of offline charity have shown that solicitation under peer pressure leads to higher donation, it is unclear whether this fundraising effect still holds online given several significant differences between offline and online settings. In this paper, we first examine whether online individual fundraising donors give more and what factors moderate such an effect. We found that in general this is true: An individual fundraising donor gives on average ¥6 more than an organic donor. However, this effect is overturned for anonymous donors, where the organic donors actually give more than those in individual fundraising. In addition, the effect varies along the life cycle of a project or individual fundraising, with the early and later donors showing greater effect than those coming in the middle of the life cycle. Next, we examine the interaction between individual fundraising and organic donation through information sharing. Counter-intuitively, we found that blocking organic donors’ access to individual fundraising will increase donations for most projects, with the aggregated gain across projects in our sample to be 4.6%. We provide explanations for our findings.

Keywords: Online Charitable giving; Individual Fundraising

Suggested Citation

Liang, Yitian (Sky) and Chen, Xinlei and Zhu, Rui and Chai, Jianbin and Liu, Tracy, Individual Fundraising in Online Charitable Giving (June 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3397517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3397517

Yitian (Sky) Liang (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - School of Economics and Management ( email )

Wei Lun Building 543
Tsinghua University
Beijing, 100084
China

Xinlei Chen

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) ( email )

Shanghai Jiao Tong University
211 West Huaihai Road
Shanghai, 200030
China

Rui Zhu

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

Jianbin Chai

Peking University, Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Beijing
China

Tracy Liu

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

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