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Matching donations without crowding out? Some theoretical considerations and a field experiment

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Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract Is there a way of matching donations that avoids crowding out? And, more generally, what is the best way to utilize a bigger lead gift for raising smaller contributions in a fundraising campaign? To answer these questions, we present a novel matching method, some simple theoretical considerations, and evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment on charitable giving. We compare a standard linear matching scheme with a novel matching scheme in which the matched amount is allocated towards a different project. Treatments with unconditional lead gifts serve as controls. Similar to findings from the previous literature, conventional matching for the same project results in partial crowding-out (increasing, however, the participation rate and the overall return per mail-out). The novel matching scheme that we propose also increases the response rate and, in addition, does avoid crowding out. (author's abstract)
Keywords field research; donation; experiment; attempt; suppression; welfare
Classification Other Fields of Social Welfare
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Berlin
Page/Pages 21 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Forschungsschwerpunkt Markt und Entscheidung, Abteilung Ökonomik des Wandels, SP II 2015-302
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications