NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Matching and Challenge Gifts to Charity:Evidence from Laboratory and Natural Field Experiments

Daniel Rondeau, John A. List

NBER Working Paper No. 13728
Issued in January 2008
NBER Program(s):   EEE   PE

This study designs a natural field experiment linked to a controlled laboratory experiment to examine the effectiveness of matching gifts and challenge gifts, two popular strategies used to secure a portion of the $200 billion annually given to charities. We find evidence that challenge gifts positively influence contributions in the field, but matching gifts do not. Methodologically, we find important similarities and dissimilarities between behavior in the lab and the field. Overall, our results have clear implications for fundraisers and provide avenues for future empirical and theoretical work on charitable giving.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13728

Published: Daniel Rondeau & John List, 2008. "Matching and challenge gifts to charity: evidence from laboratory and natural field experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 253-267, September.

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