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04/01/2024

Two research papers published about social media p2p fundraisers and pro-social incentives

The papers appeared in Psychology and Marketing as well as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

In the first research paper, the authors from the Chair of Digital Marketing at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management address the idea that global crises generally have a negative impact on donations to nonprofit organizations. This research paper asks whether this wisdom applies to all channels by examining a growing digital fundraising channel, peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising via social media, at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. US and German samples are used to examine which non-profit organizations outperformed or underperformed compared to the market average in order to identify the potential success factors. It will show that not all crises reduce generosity, provide insights into this new digital fundraising channel and discuss the extent to which the results are transferable to other channels and crises.

Martin, Beatrice / Schlereth, Christian (2024): "When a Crisis Has a Silver Lining – Social Media P2p Fundraising at the Start of COVID-19", Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, forthcoming [VHB: B].

The second research paper is about the fact that companies often rely on customer feedback to build and improve their business. In turn, customers are expected to (i) complete customer feedback surveys (participation) and (ii) provide accurate responses (performance). To encourage active participation and ensure accurate responses, companies have traditionally offered either self-serving incentives such as lottery prizes or prosocial incentives such as charitable donations. More recently, some companies have moved to offer prosocial incentives in addition to self-serving incentives in the hope of "sweetening the deal", i.e. further improving participation and performance. This study questions whether the additional prosocial incentives offered are effective. The findings from two field experiments and an incentive-oriented online experiment do not confirm such an advantage. On the contrary, performance may decrease when a low amount is offered as an on-top prosocial incentive compared to a purely self-serving attitude. This trend only reverses when the amount of the on-top incentive increases. Furthermore, it is found that prosocial on-top incentives are ineffective in terms of participation and even harmful at higher amounts. The empirical findings therefore tend to indicate that prosocial on-top incentives "poison the well".

Beisecker, Sven / Schlereth, Christian (2024): "Offering Prosocial Incentives On-Top – Do They Sweeten the Deal or Poison the Well?", Psychology & Marketing, 41(3), 628 - 648 [VHB: B].

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