We the living: The effects of living and deceased donor stories on charitable bequest giving intentions

Russell N. James, Claire Routley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Choosing messages to encourage charitable bequest giving may be particularly challenging given sensitivity to personal mortality reminders. Previous research suggests that people often react to mortality reminders with avoidance, including distancing themselves from those associated with death. We compare the effects of otherwise similar living and deceased bequest donor stories on subsequent intentions to leave a charitable bequest. Although both story types significantly increased subsequent intentions to leave a charitable bequest, living donor stories consistently outperformed otherwise identical deceased donor stories. Fundraisers may do well to emphasize stories of living planned bequest donors and de-emphasize death and the deceased in charitable bequest fundraising messaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • Charitable bequest
  • Fundraising
  • Philanthropy
  • Planned giving

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