Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty

Bittschi, Benjamin; Dwenger, Nadja and Rincke, Johannes (2020) Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty. Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Public Economics, CEPR Discussion Papers 14996, 34 p.

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Abstract or Table of Contents

We study donor loyalty in the context of church membership in Germany. Church members have to make substantial payments to their church but can opt out at any time. In a large-scale field experiment, we examine how private recognition for past payments affects church members' loyalty. We find that recognizing past payments in a letter significantly reduces opt-outs. This effect is driven by members in the bottom quartile of baseline payments to the church. Consistent with optimization frictions prior to the experiment, we observe a spike in opt-outs immediately after treatment for particularly costly memberships.

Item Type: Discussion/ Working Paper (Unspecified)
Additional Information (public): ISSN 0265-8003
Keywords: Charitable Giving, donor loyalty, field experiment, Private recognition, recurring donors
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): C93, D64
Research Units: European Governance and Public Finance
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2020 07:10
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2020 07:10
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/5392

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