Goal-Setting in Fundraising: A Natural Field Experiment on the Effects of Campaign Goals on Charitable Giving

Last registered on June 15, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Goal-Setting in Fundraising: A Natural Field Experiment on the Effects of Campaign Goals on Charitable Giving
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009553
Initial registration date
June 09, 2022

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
June 15, 2022, 10:09 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Cologne

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-06-13
End date
2022-10-27
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The project investigates goal-gradient behavior in the domain of charitable giving by means of a natural field experiment. In collaboration with a large charitable organization, we aim at shedding light on the role of fundraising campaign goals and perceived goal proximity on individual donation decisions. Regular donors are contacted via postal mailing in which they are asked if they are willing to increase their regular donation amount. In the letters, we vary information on arbitrary campaign goals and progress towards achieving the goal, randomly assign receivers to different treatment groups and compare donation incidences between groups.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Oslislo, Christoph. 2022. "Goal-Setting in Fundraising: A Natural Field Experiment on the Effects of Campaign Goals on Charitable Giving." AEA RCT Registry. June 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9553
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-16
Intervention End Date
2022-07-14

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.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
To shed light on the behavioral mechanisms, we will additionally investigate heterogenous treatment effects with respect to gender, and individual donation history, e-mail opening rates.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I collaborate with a large charitable organization to shed light on the role of campaign goals, perceived goal proximity and social information on individual donation decisions. To maximize the value of the pledge file (donors who regularly donate a certain amount of money to the
charity), regular donors receive a request to increase their commitment. Donors are contacted via postal mailing and a subgroup additionally receives an e-mail and a subsequent phone call. In the letter, donors are thanked for their donations and are then asked if they are willing to increase their regular donation amount. We manipulate small details in the letters and randomly assign receivers to different treatment groups in order to investigate whether the manipulated details are relevant for individual donation decisions.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
To achieve balance in potentially relevant covariates, we use block random assignment for treatment allocation and stratify the sample by gender, upgrade decisions in the last two years, additional contact channels, donation size, contract duration, and initial acquisition channel.
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
110.000 regular donors
Sample size: planned number of observations
110.000 regular donors
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
11.000 regular donors in every treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number