Does Giving Tuesday Lift or Shift Year-end Charitable Giving?
Last registered on September 10, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Does Giving Tuesday Lift or Shift Year-end Charitable Giving?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003264
Initial registration date
August 24, 2018
Last updated
September 10, 2018 11:12 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Memphis
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-08-24
End date
2018-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This paper uses a multi-wave experiment to test the effects of time-limited, multi-organization giving days, such as Giving Tuesday, on later donations to nonprofit organizations. Although Giving Tuesday raised $274 million in 2017, some organizations fear the day displaces, rather than increases, year-end giving. This paper uses a multi-wave online survey experiment to simulate end-of-year giving conditions. We determine how a randomized multi-organization solicitation treatment affects giving to later solicitations, which are each spaced approximately one week apart and targeted to respondent preferences. The survey design highlights differences across sector as well as respondents’ stated organization familiarity, giving history, and charitable preferences. In addition to advancing theory on how solicitations lift and shift charitable giving, this work helps nonprofit organizations to better gauge the costs and benefits of participation in giving days and in other year-end appeals.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Vance-McMullen, Danielle. 2018. "Does Giving Tuesday Lift or Shift Year-end Charitable Giving?." AEA RCT Registry. September 10. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3264/history/34037
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention is a multi-organization, multi-sector solicitation which is designed to capture important aspects of a Giving Tuesday solicitation.
Intervention Start Date
2018-08-31
Intervention End Date
2018-09-21
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are:
Giving in Wave 3 (0/1)
Giving in Wave 3 (Amount)
Giving in Wave 3 (Amount conditional on any donation)
Giving in Wave 4 (0/1)
Giving in Wave 4 (Amount)
Giving in Wave 4 (Amount conditional on any donation)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Participation in Wave 3
Participation in Wave 4
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Because the invitation to participate in Waves 3 and 4 includes a mention of a donation opportunity, another potential outcome is the decision to open the invitation/respond to the survey.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In this online survey experiment, I use multiple waves to simulate typical end-of-year giving conditions. After an initial collection of baseline information in Wave 1, I randomize respondents into two groups in Wave 2. Experimental subjects in the treatment group will receive a multi-organization solicitation in the style of Giving Tuesday, while subjects in the control group will not receive a solicitation. In Waves 3 and 4, both the treatment and control groups will be solicited for specific charities.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Individuals randomized within blocks (blocks determined by self-identified charitable interest area)
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not a clustered experiment
Sample size: planned number of observations
480, but expect attrition
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
240 treatment, 240 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE = $0.20; Assumed SD is 0.8929 (treatment) and 0.4491 (control) - from pilot; 80%; Assumed final sample size is 400 (200 treatment) (expect 17% attrition)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Memphis
IRB Approval Date
2018-08-23
IRB Approval Number
#PRO-FY2019-90