Contingent match incentives increase donations

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The authors propose a new means by which nonprofits can induce donors to give today and commit to giving in the future: contingent match incentives, in which matching is made contingent on the percentage of others who give (e.g., "if X% of others give, we will match all donations"). A field experiment shows that a 75% contingent match (such that matches "kick in" only if 75% of others donate) is most effective in increasing commitment to recurring donations. An online experiment reveals that the 75% contingent match drives commitment to recurring donations because it simultaneously provides social proof while offering a low enough target to remain plausible that the match will occur. A final online experiment demonstrates that the effectiveness of the 75% contingent match extends to one-time donations. The authors discuss the practical and theoretical implications of contingent matches for managers and academics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Anik, L; Norton, MI; Ariely, D

Published Date

  • December 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 790 - 801

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-7193

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-2437

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1509/jmr.13.0432

Citation Source

  • Scopus