Retain Donors by Sharing Past Donation Use: Evidence from Red Cross Blood Donors

42 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Edlira Shehu

Edlira Shehu

Copenhagen Business School

Michel Clement

University of Hamburg

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Besarta Veseli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 4, 2021

Abstract

Although effective appeals for donors are essential for blood donation services, few studies have investigated which appeals work best, particularly for repeat donors. We address this research gap by proposing and testing a strategy that incorporates information on the use of the past donation in redonation appeals. In three field studies in collaboration with Red Cross Blood Donation Services, we analyze this effect empirically. We examine how managers can successfully implement past donation use appeals by identifying the moderating effects of donor experience and timing of the appeals. Our results confirm that past donation use appeals increase future donations more effectively than simple thank-you appeals. Moreover, this positive effect increases with donor experience; our results show that experienced donors especially appreciate feedback provided by past donation information. In addition, we find that timing of the appeals matters: the positive effect of past donation use information is reduced when appeals are sent shortly before the next possible donation date. Our results provide clear implications for charities seeking to improve donor retention.

Keywords: Field Experiments, Donor Management, Retention, Reactivation, Donation Appeals, Message Timing

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Shehu, Edlira and Clement, Michel and Winterich, Karen Page and Veseli, Besarta, Retain Donors by Sharing Past Donation Use: Evidence from Red Cross Blood Donors (November 4, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3956578 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3956578

Edlira Shehu (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Denmark

Michel Clement

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Besarta Veseli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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