“Thank you phone” that gives thanks to the person who donated has no impact on the future donation behavior of the other party


Kat Yukawa

A charity that accepts donations from the general public may send a thank you call or message to the person who made the donation. It is said that “thanks to the person who made the donation increases the possibility of making a donation again”, but when an economist actually investigated the effect of a phone call of appreciation for the donation, a phone call of appreciation Was found to have no impact on the subsequent donation behavior.

Do Thank-You Calls Increase Charitable Giving? Expert Forecasts and Field Experimental Evidence by Anya Samek, Chuck Longfield :: SSRN

Calling donors to thank them doesn't make them more likely to give again

In the United States, there is a day called “ Giving Tuesday ” on Tuesday after Thanksgiving , and donations to charities are a social movement. On 2018 Gifts Day, donations of $ 380 million (about 42 billion yen) were sent to non-profit organizations .

Many organizations that have received such donations give thanks to their donors by phone or message, and hope that they will continue to donate. The percentage of those who donated again is less than 50% (PDF file) , so there are survey results, so that new donors will make donations regularly Encouraging is an important issue for charities.

Many non-profit organizations believe that gratitude calls will stimulate people's donation behavior, according to a survey by behavioral economist Associate Professor Anya Samek who studies donation behavior at the University of Southern California. A for-profit organization made a call of gratitude. Mr. Samek also investigated whether calling thanks to donors would actually increase subsequent donation behavior.



Samek's research team collaborated with public TV stations and large non-profit organizations that accept donations. The number of new donors from 2011 to 2016 was about 500,000, and the average donation was $ 150 for TV stations (about 16,000 yen) for non-profit organizations. The thing was $ 70 (about 7700 yen).

The research team randomly picked a part from the list of new donors and made a call to thank for the donation. Thanks to the phone, it was just to convey gratitude, and there was no request for “Please donate again”. In addition, if you outsource a thank-you call, the required amount is about $ 1 (about 110 yen) per case.


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When Samek's research team actually began collecting data, surprising results were revealed. There was no difference in the donation behavior between those who received a call of gratitude after donation and those who did not.

In the graph below, the red bar graph shows, in order from the top, “funding experts who think that thanks phone will increase donation behavior” and “general people who think that thanks phone will increase donation behavior” The bar graph below shows the percentage of people who donated to TV stations and those who donated to non-profit organizations donated again. More than 50% of experts and the general public thought that 'Thank you call will increase donation behavior', but people who actually made donations will receive a call of thanks, but nearly 30% We donate again at the rate of. In other words, it turned out that 'Thank you for donating is meaningless for the purpose of making a donation again.'

Samek also points out that it was important that the phone call of appreciation did not change the donation behavior, nor did it affect the amount of donation, even after considering the five years after the survey. Mr. Samek before conducting the experiment seems to have thought that `` As long as we see that the call of thanks is very popular, the call of thanks will probably have some effect '', but this result Was contrary to expectations.

In addition, in the sense of “increasing donations afterwards”, the call of gratitude was not effective, but as a belief of the charity, “If you think you should give thanks to those who donated” Mr. Samek said there is no reason to stop the call of gratitude.

by Patrice_Audet

in Note, Posted by log1h_ik