Fundraising goals: The role of extreme and moderate campaign goal progress for individual upgrade decisions

Last registered on July 26, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Fundraising goals: The role of extreme and moderate campaign goal progress for individual upgrade decisions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009792
Initial registration date
July 25, 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
July 26, 2022, 1:36 PM 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
2022-08-01
End date
2022-10-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
In collaboration with a large charitable organization, we send out upgrade requests to regular donors via postal mail and vary the campaign progress illustrated by a progress bar. In contrast to recent studies, we differentiate between the effects of extreme goal gradients (very low or very high) and effects of a moderate goal gradient. We randomly assign receivers to either one of the three goal progress treatments or to a control group. In the control group letters, there is no explicit information on the existence of a campaign goal or on behavior of other donors. In an additional treatment variation, we include an information (and a bar graph) unrelated to campaign goals which serves as a control for the letter design. Donors, whose e-mail-address is available to the charity, receive an additional e-mail with the same content two weeks after the postal mailing. Between treatments, we compare upgrade incidences and upgrade sizes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Oslislo, Christoph. 2022. "Fundraising goals: The role of extreme and moderate campaign goal progress for individual upgrade decisions." AEA RCT Registry. July 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9792
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
In collaboration with a large charitable organization, we send out upgrade requests to regular donors via postal mail and vary the campaign progress illustrated by a progress bar. In contrast to recent studies, we differentiate between the effects of extreme goal gradients (very low or very high) and effects of a moderate goal gradient. We randomly assign receivers to either one of the three goal progress treatments or to a control group. In the control group letters, there is no explicit information on the existence of a campaign goal or on behavior of other donors. In an additional treatment variation, we include an information (and a bar graph) unrelated to campaign goals which serves as a control for the letter design. Donors, whose e-mail-address is available to the charity, receive an additional e-mail with the same content two weeks after the postal mailing. Between treatments, we compare upgrade incidences and upgrade sizes.
Intervention Start Date
2022-08-10
Intervention End Date
2022-09-07

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, individual donation history and e-mail opening rates.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study follows a between-subject design with 5 treatments: Control group letters contain no additional information (T1). Three goal progress treatments (T2-T4) contain information on a campaign goal and on the progress already made towards that goal. The progress is illustrated by a progress bar. Letters in an additional control treatment (T5) contain an information which is unrelated to campaign goals or to other donors' behavior and a bar graph similar to the chart in T2-T4. Everything else in the letters is hold constant across treatments.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
~ 48.000 regular donors
Sample size: planned number of observations
~ 48.000 regular donors
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~ 9.600 regular donors in every treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number