Charities mainly rely on direct mailings to attract the attention of potential donators. Individuals may feel irritated by these mailings, in particular when they receive many mailings. We study the consequences of perceived irritation on stated behavior and on actual behavior. Target selection by charities likely results in good donators receiving many mailings and hence they might also be most irritated. Therefore, irritation with direct mailings might be endogenously determined. To create exogenous variation in irritation, we design a unique controlled field experiment in cooperation with five of the largest charities in the Netherlands. Our analysis reveals that direct mailings do result in irritation, but surprisingly this affects neither stated nor actual donating behavior.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/12704
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Diepen, M, Donkers, A.C.D, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2008). Does Irritation Induced by Charitable Direct Mailings Reduce Donations? (No. ERS-2008-036-MKT). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/12704