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


Trial Information
General Information
Does Giving Tuesday Lift or Shift Year-end Charitable Giving?
Initial registration date
August 24, 2018
Last updated
September 10, 2018 11:12 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
University of Memphis
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
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
Vance-McMullen, Danielle. 2018. "Does Giving Tuesday Lift or Shift Year-end Charitable Giving?." AEA RCT Registry. September 10.
Experimental Details
The intervention is a multi-organization, multi-sector solicitation which is designed to capture important aspects of a Giving Tuesday solicitation.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
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
Wave 1 includes questions about the respondents' primary charitable interest area. Randomization in Wave 2 is blocked by charitable interest area. This occurs because the solicitations in Waves 3 and 4 are specific to the charitable interest areas indicated in Wave 1. Specific, targeted solicitations imitate the typical year-end solicitations a real donor would experience.
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Individuals randomized within blocks (blocks determined by self-identified charitable interest area)
Was the treatment clustered?
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)
Supporting Documents and Materials

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
IRB Name
University of Memphis
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers