The Role of Seed Money and Threshold Size in Optimizing Fundraising Campaigns: Past Behavior Matters!

Griet Verhaert, Ghent University, Belgium
Dirk Van den Poel, Ghent University, Belgium
Fundraising appeals often announce that some funds have already been raised in order to reach the threshold. This article reports results from a field experiment examining the role of seed money in combination with threshold size in fundraising appeals across different targets. Based on a 2x3x3 between-subjects design we investigate charitable behavior of 25,617 households. Findings reveal a novel restriction of using seed contributions as well as the necessity of a communication differentiation by considering past behavior. We show that seed money works excellent when the threshold is high but with a low threshold it could have a baleful influence.
[ to cite ]:
Griet Verhaert and Dirk Van den Poel (2010) ,"The Role of Seed Money and Threshold Size in Optimizing Fundraising Campaigns: Past Behavior Matters!", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 630-630 .