Worker Experience and Donor Heterogeneity: The Impact of Charitable Workers on Donors’ Blood Donation Decisions

47 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020 Last revised: 24 Feb 2023

See all articles by Wilson Lin

Wilson Lin

Santa Clara University

Susan F. Lu

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Tianshu Sun

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: January 20, 2023

Abstract

Problem definition: We ask whether and how a charitable organization’s front-line staff members can be effectively positioned to encourage donors to donate more (in compliance with the eligibility rules) during their in-person interactions. Specifically, we consider how charitable organizations can use micro-level data on worker-donor interactions to improve donation outcomes, via understanding of workers’ experiences and donors’ characteristics.

Methodology/Results: Using a unique dataset at the nurse-donor interaction level, we analyze the role of nurses’ experiences in driving charitable productivity and explore the downstream effects of the donation volume outcome. We find that the effect of the charitable worker on charitable productivity strongly depends on the worker’s experiences which entail sharing knowledge about a donor’s donation options, rather than the worker’s experiences that are primarily focused on collecting donations. Moreover, nurse experience can encourage donors that have lower self-efficacy over performing their donation to choose higher donation volumes. A worker’s experience with donors with lower self-efficacy furthermore benefits charitable productivity when interacting with those donors. Higher donations induced by an experienced worker from the previous session are correlated with higher donation volumes in the focal session if the donor returns to donate.

Managerial Implications: When taking the insights on staff-donor interactions into account, improved matching between nurses and donors can provide economically significant benefits for the blood bank. Understanding worker experience in the staff-donor interactions and leveraging big data in staffing decisions can help charitable organizations improve their productivity simply from the personnel end.

Keywords: charitable operations, charitable giving, nonprofit operations, data analytics, blood donation, public health

Suggested Citation

Lin, Wilson and Lu, Susan Feng and Sun, Tianshu, Worker Experience and Donor Heterogeneity: The Impact of Charitable Workers on Donors’ Blood Donation Decisions (January 20, 2023). Forthcoming, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3649800 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3649800

Wilson Lin (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Susan Feng Lu

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/susanluhome/home

Tianshu Sun

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business ( email )

1017, Oriental Plaza 1
No.1 Dong Chang'an Street
Beijing
China

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

3670 Trousdale Parkway
Bridge Hall 310B
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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