A Field Experiment on Group Competition and Charitable Giving (II)

Last registered on August 08, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

A Field Experiment on Group Competition and Charitable Giving (II)
Initial registration date
July 14, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 15, 2021, 10:10 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
August 08, 2021, 7:49 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Cologne

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Cologne

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In collaboration with a large charitable organization, we conduct a large-scale field experiment designed to investigate the role of group identity for individual donation decisions in a natural setting. In particular, we test the hypothesis that perceived group membership in combination with group competition have the potential to increase charitable giving. The intervention takes place in July 2021. In addition to the main research question, the project aims at shedding light on (I) whether it needs explicit incentives for salient group membership to have a positive
effect on individual donation decisions, (II) whether public recognition as a group-level incentive can increase charitable giving, and (III) whether potential effects of group identity on charitable giving can be further exploited by a supplementary peer-to-peer fundraising method. After approximately twelve months, we measure long-term effects of our treatment manipulation.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Oslislo, Christoph and Frederik Schwerter. 2021. "A Field Experiment on Group Competition and Charitable Giving (II)." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7962-1.1
Experimental Details


In a regular donation request, we vary whether there is salient group membership and whether there is competition on the group level. The requests will be sent out via postal mail and supplemented with an e-mail (if applicable).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key variables of interest will be donation decisions at the extensive margin as well as donation sizes and total donations raised (also considering cancellation rates) under different treatment conditions and at different points in time.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
To shed light on the behavioral mechanisms, we will additionally measure heterogenous treatment effects with respect to city characteristics (e.g. sizes), gender, and individual donation history, e-mail open rates and clickthrough rates on info webpages, donation decisions resulting from a P2P fundraising strategy, as well as long-term effects of the intervention (measurement of primary outcomes one year later - before and after having published tournament results).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The intervention takes place in July 2021. Regular donors receive a donation request via postal mailing. All mailings are identical except from the precise wording of the appeal. In this experiment, we ask whether a salient group membership in combination with group competition affect individual donation decisions. In order to investigate this question, we prime a natural group identity of subjects with and without explicitly mentioning competition. Subjects in the control condition receive no group membership prime and no information on any competition. Group competition is incentivized by the charity's announcement to publish a ranking of the "most cooperative" groups as part of the charity's next regular newsletter and online.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization on individual-level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
approximately 71.000 donors
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 71.000 donors
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
23.700 donors in each of the three treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Commitee UoC
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials