Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

An experimental test of fundraising appeals targeting donor and recipient benefits

Abstract

We partnered with Alaska’s Pick.Click.Give. programme to implement a statewide natural field experiment with 540,000 Alaskans designed to examine two of the main motivations for charitable giving: concerns for the benefits to self (impure altruism or ‘warm glow’) or concerns for the benefits to others (pure altruism). Our empirical results highlight the relative importance of appeals to self: individuals who received such an appeal were 6.6% more likely to give and gave 23% more than counterparts in the control group. Yet, a message that instead appealed to recipient benefits (motivated by altruism) had no statistically significant effect on average donations relative to the control group. We also find evidence of long-run effects of warm-glow appeals in the subsequent year. Our results have import for theoreticians and empiricists interested in modelling charitable giving as well as practitioners and policymakers.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Treatment postcards.
Fig. 2: Geographic overview of treatment assignment.
Fig. 3: Donation size.
Fig. 4: Propensity to give.

Data availability

The data used in this study are available at https://osf.io/ycafq/.

Code availability

We used Stata version 16 for the data analysis. The Stata code is available at https://osf.io/ycafq/.

References

  1. 1.

    Chen, Y. & MacKie-Mason, J. K. Online fund-raising mechanisms: a field experiment. BE J. Econ. Anal. Policy 5, 4 (2006).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Eckel, C. C. & Grossman, P. J. Subsidizing charitable giving with rebates or matching: Further laboratory evidence. South Econ. J. 72, 794–807 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Karlan, D. & List, J. A. Does price matter in charitable giving? Evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment. Am. Econ. Rev. 97, 1774–1793 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Meier, S. Do subsidies increase charitable giving in the long run? Matching donations in a field experiment. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 5, 1203–1222 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Huck, S. & Rasul, I. Matched fundraising: evidence from a natural field experiment. J. Public Econ. 95, 351–362 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Scharf, K. & Smith, S. The price elasticity of charitable giving: does the form of tax relief matter? Int. Tax. Public Financ. 22, 330–352 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Morgan, J. Financing public goods by means of lotteries. Rev. Econ. Stud. 67, 761–784 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Goeree, J. K., Maasland, E., Onderstal, S. & Turner, J. L. How (not) to raise money. J. Polit. Econ. 113, 897–918 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Landry, C. E., Lange, A., List, J. A., Price, M. K. & Rupp, N. G. Toward an understanding of the economics of charity: evidence from a field experiment. Q. J. Econ. 121, 747–782 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Carpenter, J., Holmes, J. & Matthews, P. H. Charity auctions: a field experiment. Econ. J. 118, 92–113 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Elfenbein, D. W. & McManus, B. A greater price for a greater good? Evidence that consumers pay more for charity-linked products. Am. Econ. J. Econ. Policy 2, 28–60 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Frey, B. S. & Meier, S. Social comparisons and pro-social behavior: testing ‘conditional cooperation’ in a field experiment. Am. Econ. Rev. 94, 1717–1722 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Shang, J. & Croson, R. A field experiment in charitable contribution: the impact of social information on the voluntary provision of public goods. Econ. J. 119, 1422–1439 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Murphy, J. J., Batmunkh, N., Nilsson, B. & Ray, S. The impact of social information on the voluntary provision of public goods: a replication study. Res. Exp. Econ. 18, 41–50 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Falk, A. Gift exchange in the field. Econometrica 75, 1501–1511 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Alpizar, F., Carlsson, F. & Johansson-Stenman, O. Anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity: evidence from voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica. J. Public Econ. 92, 1047–1060 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Chao, M. Demotivating incentives and motivation crowding out in charitable giving. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 114, 7301–7306 (2017).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Meer, J. Brother Can you spare a dime? Peer pressure in charitable solicitation. J. Public Econ. 95, 926–941 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Castillo, M., Petrie, R. & Wardell, C. Fundraising through online social networks: a field experiment on peer-to-peer solicitation. J. Public Econ. 114, 29–35 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Smith, S., Windmeijer, F. & Wright, E. Peer effects in charitable giving: evidence from the (running) field. Econ. J. 125, 1053–1071 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Andreoni, J. Toward a theory of charitable fund-raising. J. Polit. Econ. 106, 1186–1213 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    List, J. A. & Lucking-Reiley, D. The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: experimental evidence from a university capital campaign. J. Polit. Econ. 110, 215–233 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Vesterlund, L. The informational value of sequential fundraising. J. Public Econ. 87, 627–657 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Potters, J., Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L. Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study. Econ. Theory 33, 169–182 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Bracha, A., Menietti, M. & Vesterlund, L. Seeds to succeed? Sequential giving to public projects. J. Public Econ. 95, 416–427 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Andreoni, J. Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: the effects of positive and negative framing on cooperation in experiments. Q. J. Econ. 110, 1–21 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Crumpler, H. & Grossman, P. J. An experimental test of warm glow giving. J. Public Econ. 92, 1011–1021 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Null, C. Warm glow, information, and inefficient charitable giving. J. Public Econ. 95, 455–465 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Tonin, M. & Vlassopoulos, M. Disentangling the sources of pro-socially motivated effort: a field experiment. J. Public Econ. 94, 1086–1092 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Imas, A. Working for the ‘warm glow’: on the benefits and limits of prosocial incentives. J. Public Econ. 114, 14–18 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Tonin, M. & Vlassopoulos, M. An experimental investigation of intrinsic motivations for giving. Theory Decis. 76, 47–67 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Ottoni-Wilhelm, M., Vesterlund, L. & Xie, H. Why do people give? Testing pure and impure altruism. Am. Econ. Rev. 107, 3617–3633 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Singh, J., Teng, N. & Netessine, S. Philanthropic campaigns and customer behavior: field experiments on an online taxi booking platform. Manag. Sci. 65, 913–932 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Brunel, F. F. & Nelson, M. R. Explaining gendered responses to ‘help-self’ and ‘help-others’ charity ad appeals: the mediating role of world-views. J. Advert. 29, 15–28 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    White, K. & Peloza, J. Self-benefit versus other-benefit marketing appeals: their effectiveness in generating charitable support. J. Mark. 73, 109–124 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Feiler, D. C., Tost, L. P. & Grant, A. M. Mixed reasons, missed givings: the costs of blending egoistic and altruistic reasons in donation requests. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 48, 1322–1328 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Baek, T. H., Yoon, S., Kim, S. & Kim, Y. Social exclusion influences on the effectiveness of altruistic versus egoistic appeals in charitable advertising. Mark. Lett. 30, 75–90 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Andreoni, J. Giving with impure altruism: applications to charity and Ricardian equivalence. J. Polit. Econ. 97, 1447–1458 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Andreoni, J. Impure altruism and donations to public goods: a theory of warm-glow giving. Econ. J. 100, 464 (1990).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    DellaVigna, S., List, J. A. & Malmendier, U. Testing for altruism and social pressure in charitable giving. Q. J. Econ. 127, 1–56 (2012).

    PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Knutsson, M., Martinsson, P. & Wollbrant, C. Do people avoid opportunities to donate? A natural field experiment on recycling and charitable giving. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 93, 71–77 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Trachtman, H. et al. Fair weather avoidance: unpacking the costs and benefits of ‘avoiding the ask’. J. Econ. Sci. Assoc. 1, 8–14 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Andreoni, J., Rao, J. M. & Trachtman, H. Avoiding the ask: a field experiment on altruism, empathy, and charitable giving. J. Polit. Econ. 125, 625–653 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Benjamin, D. J., Choi, J. J. & Strickland, A. J. Social identity and preferences. Am. Econ. Rev. 100, 1913–1928 (2010).

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Kessler, J. B. & Milkman, K. L. Identity in charitable giving. Manag. Sci. 64, 845–859 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Landry, C. E., Lange, A., List, J. A., Price, M. K. & Rupp, N. G. Is a donor in hand better than two in the bush? Evidence from a natural field experiment. Am. Econ. Rev. 100, 958–983 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Gneezy, U. & List, J. A. Putting behavioral economics to work: testing for gift exchange in labor markets using field experiments. Econometrica 74, 1365–1384 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Ferraro, P. J. & Price, M. K. Using nonpecuniary strategies to influence behavior: evidence from a large-scale field experiment. Rev. Econ. Stat. 95, 64–73 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Allcott, H. & Rogers, T. The short-run and long-run effects of behavioral interventions: experimental evidence from energy conservation. Am. Econ. Rev. 104, 3003–3037 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Chen, Y., Harper, F. M., Konstan, J. & Li, S. X. Social comparisons and contributions to online communities: a field experiment on MovieLens. Am. Econ. Rev. 100, 1358–1398 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Chen, Y., Lu, F. & Zhang, J. Social comparisons, status and driving behavior. J. Public Econ. 155, 11–20 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Gallus, J. Fostering public good contributions with symbolic awards: a large-scale natural field experiment at Wikipedia. Manag. Sci. 63, 3999–4015 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Hahn, R., Metcalfe, R. D., Novgorodsky, D. & Price, M. K. The behavioralist as policy designer: the need to test multiple treatments to meet multiple targets. National Bureau for Economic Research https://www.nber.org/papers/w22886 (2016).

  54. 54.

    Holladay, S., LaRiviere, J., Novgorodsky, D. & Price, M. Prices versus nudges: what matters for search versus purchase of energy investments? J. Public Econ. 172, 151–173 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Allcott, H. & Greenstone, M. Measuring the welfare effects of residential energy efficiency programs. NBER Working Paper 23386 https://www.nber.org/papers/w23386 (National Bureau for Economic Research, 2017).

  56. 56.

    Beshears, J., Choi, J. J., Laibson, D., Madrian, B. C. & Milkman, K. L. The effect of providing peer information on retirement savings decisions. J. Financ. 70, 1161–1201 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Seira, E., Elizondo, A. & Laguna-Müggenburg, E. Are information disclosures effective? Evidence from the credit card market. Am. Econ. J. Econ. Policy 9, 277–307 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Fellner, G., Sausgruber, R. & Traxler, C. Testing enforcement strategies in the field: threat, moral appeal and social information. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 11, 634–660 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Hallsworth, M., List, J. A., Metcalfe, R. D. & Vlaev, I. The behavioralist as tax collector: using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance. J. Public Econ. 148, 14–31 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Allcott, H. Social norms and energy conservation. J. Public Econ. 95, 1082–1095 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Costa, D. L. & Kahn, M. E. Energy conservation ‘nudges’ and environmentalist ideology: evidence from a randomized residential electricity field experiment. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 11, 680–702 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Asensio, O. I. & Delmas, M. A. Nonprice incentives and energy conservation. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, E510–E515 (2015).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Brent, D. A., Cook, J. H. & Olsen, S. Social comparisons, household water use, and participation in utility conservation programs: evidence from three randomized trials. J. Assoc. Environ. Resour. Econ. 2, 597–627 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Ito, K., Ida, T. & Tanaka, M. Moral suasion and economic incentives: field experimental evidence from energy demand. Am. Econ. J. Econ. Policy 10, 240–267 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Brandon, A., List, J. A., Metcalfe, R. D., Price, M. K. & Rundhammer, F. Testing for crowd out in social nudges: evidence from a natural field experiment in the market for electricity. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 116, 5293–5298 (2019).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Fisher, R. J., Vandenbosch, M. & Antia, K. D. An empathy-helping perspective on consumers’ responses to fund-raising appeals. J. Consum. Res. 35, 519–531 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Hsieh, C.-T. Do consumers react to anticipated income changes? Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund. Am. Econ. Rev. 93, 397–405 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Kueng, L. Explaining consumption excess sensitivity with near-rationality: evidence from large predetermined payments. NBER Working Paper 21772 https://www.nber.org/papers/w21772 (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015).

  69. 69.

    Evans, W. N. & Moore, T. J. The short-term mortality consequences of income receipt. J. Public Econ. 95, 1410–1424 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Jones, D. & Marinescu, I. The labor market impacts of universal and permanent cash transfers: evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund. NBER Working Paper 24312 https://www.nber.org/papers/w24312 (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018).

  71. 71.

    Watson, B., Guettabi, M. & Reimer, M. Universal cash and crime. Rev. Econ. Stat. 102, 678–689 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    Kingma, B. R. An accurate measurement of the crowd-out effect, income effect, and price effect for charitable contributions. J. Polit. Econ. 97, 1197–1207 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    Andreoni, J. An experimental test of the public-goods crowding-out hypothesis. Am. Econ. Rev. 83, 1317–1327 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    Payne, A. A. Does the government crowd-out private donations? New evidence from a sample of non-profit firms. J. Public Econ. 69, 323–345 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    Andreoni, J. & Payne, A. A. Do government grants to private charities crowd out giving or fund-raising? Am. Econ. Rev. 93, 792–812 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    Andreoni, J. & Payne, A. A. Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities. J. Public Econ. 95, 334–343 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    Eckel, C. C., Grossman, P. J. & Johnston, R. M. An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis. J. Public Econ. 89, 1543–1560 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. 78.

    Andreoni, J., Payne, A. & Smith, S. Do grants to charities crowd out other income? Evidence from the UK. J. Public Econ. 114, 75–86 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. 79.

    Goldstein, N. J., Cialdini, R. B. & Griskevicius, V. A room with a viewpoint: using social norms to motivate environmental conservation in hotels. J. Consum. Res. 35, 472–482 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    Nolan, J. M., Schultz, P. W., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N. J. & Griskevicius, V. Normative social influence is underdetected. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 34, 913–923 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    Pruckner, G. J. & Sausgruber, R. Honesty on the streets: a field study on newspaper purchasing. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 11, 661–679 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. 82.

    Harbaugh, W. T. What do donations buy? A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow. J. Public Econ. 67, 269–284 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    Andreoni, J. & Petrie, R. Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising. J. Public Econ. 88, 1605–1623 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. 84.

    Ariely, D., Bracha, A. & Meier, S. Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially. Am. Econ. Rev. 99, 544–555 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. 85.

    Lacetera, N. & Macis, M. Social image concerns and prosocial behavior: field evidence from a nonlinear incentive scheme. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 76, 225–237 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. 86.

    Karlan, D. & McConnell, M. A. Hey look at me: the effect of giving circles on giving. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 106, 402–412 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. 87.

    Morgan, J. & Sefton, M. Funding public goods with lotteries: experimental evidence. Rev. Econ. Stud. 67, 785–810 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. 88.

    Landry, C. E., Lange, A., List, J. A., Price, M. K. & Rupp, N. G. Using donor gifts to drive fundraising: theory and evidence from a natural field experiment. Working Paper https://cla.auburn.edu/economics/assets/File/UsingGiftstoDriveFundraising.pdf (Univ. Georgia, 2012).

  89. 89.

    Sieg, H. & Zhang, J. The importance of managerial capacity in fundraising: evidence from land conservation charities. Int. J. Ind. Organ. 30, 724–734 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. 90.

    Eckel, C. C., Herberich, D. H. & Meer, J. A field experiment on directed giving at a public university. J. Behav. Exp. Econ. 66, 66–71 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. 91.

    Gabaix, X. & Laibson, D. Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia, and information suppression in competitive markets. Q. J. Econ. 121, 505–540 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. 92.

    Gabaix, X. A sparsity-based model of bounded rationality. Q. J. Econ. 129, 1661–1710 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. 93.

    Levitt, S. D. & List, J. A. What do laboratory experiments measuring social preferences reveal about the real world. J. Econ. Perspect. 21, 153–174 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  94. 94.

    List, J. A. Young Selfish and male: field evidence of social preferences. Econ. J. 114, 121–149 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. 95.

    DellaVigna, S., List, J. A., Malmendier, U. & Rao, G. The importance of being marginal: gender differences in generosity. Am. Econ. Rev. 103, 586–590 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  96. 96.

    Bernedo, M., Ferraro, P. J. & Price, M. The persistent impacts of norm-based messaging and their implications for water conservation. J. Consum. Policy 37, 437–452 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. 97.

    Meer, J. The habit of giving. Econ. Inq. 51, 2002–2017 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  98. 98.

    Deck, C. & Murphy, J. J. Donors change both their level and pattern of giving in response to contests among charities. Eur. Econ. Rev. 112, 91–106 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. 99.

    Filiz-Ozbay, E. & Uler, N. Demand for giving to multiple charities: an experimental study. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 17, 725–753 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. 100.

    Lee, S. & Feeley, T. H. The identifiable victim effect: a meta-analytic review. Soc. Influ. 11, 199–215 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  101. 101.

    List, J. A. Non est disputandum de generalizability? A glimpse into the external validity trial. NBER Working Paper 27535 https://www.nber.org/papers/w27535 (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020).

  102. 102.

    Harrison, G. W. & List, J. A. Field experiments. J. Econ. Lit. 42, 1009–1055 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  103. 103.

    Henrich, J., Heine, S. J. & Norenzayan, A. Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466, 29 (2010).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank J. Andreoni and D. Wood along with seminar participants at Boston University, Chapman University and the University of California San Diego, the 2014 Science of Philanthropy Initiative meetings and the 2015 meetings of the Allied Social Sciences Association for comments that greatly influenced this manuscript. The authors thank J. Holz and F. Rundhammer for excellent research assistance, and in particular H. Beatty at Pick.Click.Give.; N. Kemppel, J. Lavoie and K. St. John at the Alaska Community Foundation; I. Dutton and D. Kaplan at the Rasmuson Foundation for their enthusiasm and support for this project; and the Alaska PFD for providing the data. Financial support for this project was provided to J.J.M. by the Rasmuson Foundation and to J.A.L. and M.K.P. by the John Templeton Foundation (award # 38909) through the Science of Philanthropy Initiative. M.K.P. acknowledges the National Science Foundation for financial support under grant award #1658743 ‘Using Field Experiments and Naturally Occurring Data to Understand How State Policies Impact Charitable Giving’. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

J.A.L., J.J.M. and M.K.P. conceived, designed and implemented the study. J.J.M. coordinated with the State of Alaska PFD for data access. A.G.J. analysed the data. J.A.L., J.J.M., M.K.P. and A.G.J. wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James J. Murphy.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Additional information

Peer review information Nature Human Behaviour thanks Ann-Kathrin Koessler, Jonathan Meer and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Discussion, Supplementary Tables 1–17 and Supplementary Fig. 1.

Reporting summary

Peer review information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

List, J.A., Murphy, J.J., Price, M.K. et al. An experimental test of fundraising appeals targeting donor and recipient benefits. Nat Hum Behav (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01095-8

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing