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

Bittschi, BenjaminORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7366-7349; Dwenger, Nadja and Rincke, Johannes (2021) Water the Flowers You Want to Grow? Evidence on Private Recognition and Donor Loyalty. European Economic Review, 131, p. 103624. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103624

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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 reduces opt-outs, but the response is temporary. The effect of recognition on retention is most pronounced among 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 after treatment for particularly costly memberships.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: Private recognition, Donor loyalty, Charitable giving,Field experiment, Recurring donors
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): D64, C93
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Macroeconomics and Business Cycles
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2020 19:39
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 12:40
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103624
ISSN: 0014-2921
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/5568

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