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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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High-Capacity Donors' Preferences for Charitable Giving

Mackenzie Alston, Catherine Eckel, Jonathan Meer, Wei Zhan

NBER Working Paper No. 25290
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Public Economics

How can charities solicit high-capacity donors to provide the funds for matching grants and leadership gifts? In conjunction with one of Texas A&M University’s fundraising organizations, we conducted a field experiment to study whether high-income donors respond to non-personal solicitations, as well as the effect of allowing for directed giving on high-income donors and their willingness to direct their donations towards overhead costs. We found that high-income donors are not responsive to letters or e-mails. The option to direct giving had no effect on the probability of donating or the amount donated. Our results suggest that motivating high-income donors requires more personal communication.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25290

 
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