The Impact of Suggested Donation and Social Information on Voluntary Donations
This study compares the effectiveness of two fundraising strategies: suggested donation and social information, and examines how different monetary amounts of suggested donation and social information impact donation behavior. Which donation strategy is more effective and how donation behavior changes with different monetary amounts are still open questions. We implemented a field experiment on voluntary donations among visitors to a national park. We find that both fundraising strategies positively and significantly affect donation behavior. However, the donation pattern differs significantly between the two strategies depending on the monetary amounts shown to potential donors. Social information increases donations up to an inflection point. Suggested donations are interpreted as a maximum donation, resulting in a few donors contributing more than the suggested amount. Our findings provide important insights for designing future fundraising campaigns.