On-line Donor Behaviour: Proportional Donation Distribution between Administration Expenditure and Service Delivery
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
When donating to a charity there is an implied assumption that a proportion of the donation will be used to support the administration functions of the charity. The present study investigated whether it was possible to obtain direct donor support for the administration function of a charity. A ‘donation splitting’ technique was used, whereby participants could split a donation into a proportion that the charity could use for administration, and a proportion that could be used to deliver the charity’s programmes and services. Two experiments were conducted using an on-line format. All participants were reimbursed $5 for participating, and this money was made available for the participants to donate with. The primary aim of Experiment 1 was to determine whether participants were willing to allocate a proportion of their donation directly to the administration function of the charity. Sixty-two students from the University of Canterbury participated in Experiment 1, with 37 participants making a donation to the charity. Results from Experiment 1 confirmed that it was possible to obtain direct donor support for administration. Experiment 2 aimed to replicate this finding, and to examine the influence that providing information about the charity’s administration expenditure had on the donation split. Sixty students from the University of Canterbury participated in Experiment 2, with 38 making a donation to the charity. Results from Experiment 2 replicated those of Experiment 1, and indicated that it may be beneficial for a charity to provide donors with information about the nature of their administration expenditure, but this information should be kept to a minimum. The donation splitting approach gives the donor an element of control over how their money is used, as well as providing the charity with valuable information to guide administration spending. Results are discussed in terms of how the donation splitting approach can help generate and maintain the public’s trust in a charity.