Voluntary Sector Review
An international journal of third sector research, policy and practice

I will only help if others tell me to do so! The simultaneous influence of injunctive and descriptive norms on donations

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  • 1 Åbo Akademi University, , Finland
  • | 2 Stockholm School of Economics, , Sweden
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To address the gaps in the understanding of how social norms can be used to increase charitable donations, we conducted two experiments with 347 participants. We demonstrated the following: (a) that the norms supporting or not supporting charitable donations influence donation intentions; (b) that injunctive norms (what the majority of people approve of) have stronger influences on donation intentions than descriptive ones (what the majority of people do); and (c) that when injunctive and descriptive norms do not align, they demotivate individuals to donate by reducing perceptions of collective efficacy. Our findings expand the literature on charitable donation, social norms and collective efficacy and offer insights for charitable organisations in terms of increasing donations by crafting convincing marketing content.

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  • 1 Åbo Akademi University, , Finland
  • | 2 Stockholm School of Economics, , Sweden

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