Social Capital as a Resource for Prosocial Donation Behavior? Quantitative Evidence on the Dark Side of Strategic Networking
30 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2022 Publication Status: Under Review
Theory suggests that selfless prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering and charitable donating, originate from motives grounded in tangible, motivational, and psychological resources. This study investigates how individuals’ social capital may serve as such a resource, exploring the peculiar role of the strategic pursue of relationships to predict individuals’ likelihood of engaging in prosocial behavior. Based on survey responses by 779 German citizens actively engaged in nonprofit hobbyist communities, we find that individuals with higher social capital and higher income are more likely to donate their incentive for study participation to charity. However, individuals who maintain relationships strategically are dramatically less likely to donate. These results enhance our understanding of social capital as a conditional resource for prosocial behavior, highlighting practical implications for fundraising and help practitioners better understand donor motivation, and the relevance of networks and social capital for charity.
Keywords: social capital, prosocial behavior, charitable donation, dark side of strategic networking, volunteering, hobbyist communities
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