Exalted Purchases or Tainted Donations? Self-Signaling and the Evaluation of Charitable Incentives

Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2020

53 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2020

See all articles by Jennifer Savary

Jennifer Savary

University of Arizona

Charis Li

Xiamen University - School of Management

George Newman

Yale School of Management

Date Written: January 7, 2020

Abstract

It is common for charities to bundle donation requests with some type of product, such as a tote bag, pen, or coffee mug. The current studies find that people are more likely to donate when those bundles are framed as “charitable purchases” versus “donations with a gift.” We show that this effect arises because consumers want to avoid the negative self-signal associated with receiving a gift in exchange for donating. Five experiments provide evidence for the role of self-signaling, identify key moderators of the framing effect, and demonstrate the downstream consequences for people’s likelihood of donating in the future. More broadly, the current studies lend further evidence to the role of self-signaling in charitable giving and provide greater clarity regarding how and when different donation solicitation techniques may be most effective.

Keywords: charitable giving, donations, gifts, altruism, crowding out, self-interest, framing effects, authenticity, self-signaling

Suggested Citation

Savary, Jennifer and Li, Charis and Newman, George, Exalted Purchases or Tainted Donations? Self-Signaling and the Evaluation of Charitable Incentives (January 7, 2020). Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3515689

Jennifer Savary (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

Marketing Department
Eller College of Management
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Charis Li

Xiamen University - School of Management ( email )

No.422 Siming Nan Road
Xiamen, Fujian 361005
China

George Newman

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
87
PlumX Metrics