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Continuous donation to and trust in a charitable organization. Model testing in the United States and the Netherlands.

Leushuis, Robin (2012) Continuous donation to and trust in a charitable organization. Model testing in the United States and the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Charitable organizations cannot function without the donations of the public. Finding out what makes the donors continue to donate could lower the costs on fundraising. In this study a model is proposed consisting of mechanisms influencing the intention to continue donating to a charitable organization. Since trust is mentioned in literature as crucial to charities, a model of the factors influencing trust in a charitable organization was also tested. Both models were tested in the United States and the Netherlands since their different scores on Hofstede’s (1999) masculinity and uncertainty avoidance index make them interesting for comparing. It was also investigated if there is a difference in the intention to continue donating and the trust in the charitable organization in both countries. Based on literature it is proposed in this study that moral obligation, social approval, efficacy of the donation, positive feelings resulting from donating, affinity with the cause of the charitable organization, trust and commitment are factors that positively influence the intention to continue donating. Perceived risk of donating is proposed to have a negative influence. The proposed factors influencing trust are evaluation of the character of the organization, ability, reputation, familiarity with the charitable organization, positive experience, quality of communication, quantity of communication, credibility of communication and frequency of communication. These are all proposed to influence trust positively. A survey was conducted among adult Americans and Dutch that had donated to charity at least once in the past 12 months. In the United States 184 surveys were filled in and in the Netherlands 196 surveys were completed. Americans turned out to have a higher intention to continue donating and have a higher trust in charitable organizations than the Dutch. This could be due to the high commitment Americans have to their charitable organizations and the scandals that have taken place in the Netherlands. Both in the Netherlands and the United States commitment turned out to be a predictor for the intention to continue donating. Positive feelings resulting from donating and moral obligation did not turn out to be a significant predictor in both countries. Differences in both countries in predictors can be found in efficacy of the donation, social approval, trust, affinity and perceived risk of donating. In both countries evaluation of the character of the organization turned out to be a significant predictor for trust in the charitable organization. Quantity of communication, credibility of communication and frequency of communication did not turn out to be significant predictors in both the United States and the Netherlands. A difference in factors influencing trust in the two countries can be found in ability, reputation, familiarity, positive experience and quality of communication. Knowing a donor’s motive for donating could help the charitable organizations find out which individuals are likely to be more committed (Sargeant & Woodliffe, 2007). As mentioned in the study of Sargeant and Woodliffe (2007) commitment is for a great part built by trust. In order to build trust, a charitable organization that operates in both countries should make sure the organization is evaluated positively, e.g. as benevolent, sincere and honest.
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/62146
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