Charity Donations

Charity Donations

Respectful development is the right thing to do. But charities should know that there’s also a business case for it. People up their donations when giving to a charity that takes care to be respectful.

In an experimental study through Amazon’s MTurk, we asked 660 people how their donations would change in response to various efforts by a charity to be respectful. Read our one-page briefing. This is what they said:

  • Participants are willing to donate more if the charity mentions investing in efforts to recognise individuality, equality, or autonomy (p=0.07).
  • Treatment 1 – Individuality – drives greater donations compared to control (p=0.02). Participants donate a mean of $31 more when a charity mentions efforts to recognise individuality.
  • If a charity wants to invest in an initiative to be more respectful, participants are less likely to say a charity should invest in the initiative if it reduces the number of people it serves by 500 (T1) or 250 (T2). However, if the charity goes ahead and does so, they are willing to up their donations in response (p=0.1). There is a sweet spot here: if the costs of the respectfulness initiative mean the charity serves 5% fewer people, they up their donations from $64 to $93. If the initiative means serving 10% fewer people, donations rise from $64 to $82.




Resources for this research: one-page briefing; Questionnaire; Dataset (CSV)Stata analysis code; All charts.