Double-edged Sword: A Field Experiment on Public Recognition and Individual Charitable Giving


SpeakerDr Jun LUO

Site: B251

Time 1400-15:30  Friday Nov.17 2017

Abstract:Previous research finds that individuals tend to donate more to charitable and non-profit organizations when their activities are recognized by public. This behavior can be explained by reputation concern. We constructed a theoretical model for charitable donation with public recognition and conducted a field experiment to investigate how public recognition influences individual charitable giving. We designed five treatments with distinct public recognition schemes and varied the timing when we offered opportunities of public recognition. Results of this study show that both the donation amount and participation rate are significantly higher when we mandated recognition; however, offering optional recognition before donation crowds out small donations and thus lowers the participation rate. Therefore we claim that public recognition is a “double-edged sword” on individual charitable giving. This study aims to raise awareness of proper use of public recognition as an approach to increase donation in charitable fund-raising.