The Effect of Default Amounts on Charitable Donations. Evidence From a Large-Scale Field Experiment

Indranil Goswami, University of Chicago, USA
Oleg Urminsky, University of Chicago, USA
Prior research has implied that high defaults can backfire. We find that lower defaults increase donation rates in a large-scale fundraising campaign (“lowered-bar” effect), but reduce average donation amounts (“scale-back” effect). Overall, defaults increased revenue and, while low defaults were most effective, higher defaults did not show any backlash.
[ to cite ]:
Indranil Goswami and Oleg Urminsky (2015) ,"The Effect of Default Amounts on Charitable Donations. Evidence From a Large-Scale Field Experiment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 43, eds. Kristin Diehl and Carolyn Yoon, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 85-89.