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Factors influencing the intention to donate to charity organizations: importance of trust

Snip, Babiche (2011) Factors influencing the intention to donate to charity organizations: importance of trust.

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Abstract:Introduction News reports about the high salaries top management of charity organizations get and about controversial investments in false business could lead to a decrease in people‟s intention to donate money to a charity organization. This could cause serious problems for charity organizations, since their existence depends on donations from the population. In this study two models have been proposed and tested, in order to determine the factors that influence people´s intention to continue donating to a charity organization and what factors have an influence on people´s trust in a charity organization. Theoretical discussion The first model is about a person‟s intention to continue donating money to a charity organization. According to former studies on this topic there are a few factors considered to be important for a person‟s intention to donate. Trust in a charity organization, affinity with the cause of a charity organization, moral obligation to donate, and donating experience are factors that could positively influence people‟s intention to continue donating to a charity organization, while perceived opportunism or risk is a factor that could negatively influence people‟s intention to continue donating to a charity organization. Due to the negative news reports, the assumption is that people‟s trust in charity organizations is decreasing. Therefore, the second model that is proposed is about the antecedents of a person‟s trust in a charity organization. Based on former studies the antecedents in the proposed model are trust propensity, the three trustworthiness factors benevolence, integrity and ability, familiarity with charity organizations in general, the reputation of the charity organization, communication with stakeholders and perceived opportunism or risk. Method In order to test the models a questionnaire was designed with both existing and new scales. The questionnaire was implemented both online and paper based. In total 304 respondents , mostly from the eastern part of the Netherlands, participated in the study. All respondents have been donating to charity organizations before they participated. Results A regression analyses was performed to test the models. The results show that the model on a person‟s intention to continue donating to a charity organization explains 54 % of the variance in a person‟s intention to donate. Of the factors in the model, only moral obligation to donate did not significantly contribute to explaining a person´s intention to continue donating to a charity organization. The model about trust explains a person‟s trust in a charity organization for almost 80 %. The factors reputation, familiarity and trust propensity did not significantly contribute to explaining a person´s trust in a charity organization. Discussion To maintain or increase people‟s intention to continue donating to a charity organization, charity organizations should pay attention to their communications with donors in order to show them that they are trustworthy and not engaging in opportunistic behaviour. Further, charity organizations could conduct research into the characteristics of the people that have affinity with the cause of their organization in order to be able to focus on the right target group and be able to communicate sufficiently with them. Trust is one of the factors that explains a large part of a person´s intention to donate to a charity organization. Therefore, it is important for charity organizations to focus on the factors that have an influence on a person´s trust in their organization. Perceived integrity of the organization is the primary factor that positively effects a person´s trust. Therefore, this is definitely a factor that a charity organization should pay attention to in its behaviour and communication.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61263
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