Barriers to Charitable Giving

27 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2020 Last revised: 30 Aug 2021

See all articles by Marco Castillo

Marco Castillo

Department of Economics, Texas A&M University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ragan Petrie

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Clarence Wardell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 1, 2021

Abstract

Donating to charity requires time, effort and attention. If the costs to give are perceived to be large, charities may lose out on donations. We develop a nonparametric test for the presence of these general nuisance costs and conduct a large-scale field experiment to show that costs to give are sizable and impactful. Potential donors were offered a 5:1 fixed match if their donation met or exceeded a minimum amount (e.g. $1, $5 or $10). Absent nuisance costs, the probability of donating should decrease as the minimum amount increases. We find the opposite. Eliminating these costs would double donations in our sample.

Keywords: charitable giving, nuisance costs, field experiment

JEL Classification: D64, H41, C93, D91

Suggested Citation

Castillo, Marco and Petrie, Ragan and Wardell, Clarence, Barriers to Charitable Giving (August 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3675807 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3675807

Marco Castillo

Department of Economics, Texas A&M University ( email )

Allen Building
4228 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Ragan Petrie (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

4228 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Clarence Wardell

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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