The message in the box: how exposure to money affects charitable giving
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Does donation box transparency matter in regard to donation behavior? The purpose of this research is to test the effect of donation box transparency on potential donors’ charitable behavior. In a series of experimental studies, including a field experiment, data were collected on willingness to donate and donation amount in three treatments: a wooden donation box (opaque condition), transparent donation box containing very little money, and transparent box almost full of money. Participants in the transparent box treatment were both less willing to donate money and they donated less money compared to subjects in the opaque box treatment. Moreover, data was collected to demonstrate that participants in the transparent box conditions experienced a heightened state of self-sufficiency due to the effect of money exposure. Implications are discussed for theory development and future research avenues and in terms of practical considerations for charity organizations.
KeywordsDonation Prosocial behavior tendency Money exposure Self-sufficiency Charitable giving
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