THREE ESSAYS ON EMERGING ISSUES IN CHARITIES: THE GIFTING OF CHARITY, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DONATIONS ARE REDIRECTED, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FIT AND LINGUISTICS IN ENCOURAGING CONTRIBUTIONS.
Mulder, Mark R.
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This dissertation explores emerging trends in how consumers approach and experience charitable giving and expands on traditional charity research, which has typically considered how the type of charitable request and donor motivations impact willingness to contribute to charities. I first present a conceptual model illustrating how the dissertation extends typical charity research. I then report three essays and ten experimental studies testing several theoretical frameworks relevant to charitable giving and responses to service failures. Essay 1 explores how consumers respond when they receive and use a charity gift card, which allows the recipient to select which charitable project they wish to fund with their card. Results show that using charity gift cards increases future intentions to donate to the target charity, but that there may be an upper limit to how many project options to offer charity gift card recipients, providing some support for a choice overload hypothesis. Essay 2 explores if consumers prefer a peer-to-peer (P2P) charity model (where the donor chooses which project to fund) over a more traditional charity model (where the charity chooses which project to fund), and what happens after a donation is made. Results show that donors prefer the P2P model and engage in a number of negative behaviors if a P2P charity redirects their donation. A final study shows that, following a redirect, P2P charities can reduce negative donor reactions by offering donors an apology paired with compensation. Essay 3 shows that donors are more likely to support fundraisers that represent a high (vs. a low) fit with a given charity and that using creative linguistics (i.e., a rhyme) in the title of a fundraiser boosts intentions to support the fundraiser.