Barriers to Charitable Giving
27 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2020 Last revised: 30 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 1, 2021
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: Suggested Citation