Creating trust through charity advertisement : focusing on charity successes or future goals, by using statistical or anecdotal evidence?

Freriksen, D.K. (2014) Creating trust through charity advertisement : focusing on charity successes or future goals, by using statistical or anecdotal evidence?

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Abstract:Trust plays an important role in the charity sector, as for donors it is difficult to assess whether their money has been used as directed. If the public has little confidence in a charitable organization, they will be less willing to support the organization. As a consequence, for charities it is of importance that their advertisements create trust in order for donors to donate and to continue donating. This study examines several message factors and their influence on people’s trust and intentions to donate to a charitable organization. One way to possibly influence potential donors to contribute to charitable organizations is through communicating the successes of the organization to the public. Another way is by emphasizing what goals the charity yet wants to accomplish in the future. Next to focusing the advertising message on successes or future goals, potential donors can also be influenced by the type of evidence that is presented. In this study a distinction is made between presenting the message with statistical and anecdotal evidence. A study in this field was carried out, to examine the effectiveness of different charity advertisements in relation to trust and donation intention. A 2 (advertising strategy scenarios: future goals versus past successes) by 2 (evidence type: anecdotal versus statistical) between subjects design was used. Four manipulated charity advertisements were used, about a fictive charitable organization that raises money for research into childhood cancer. An online survey was carried out, in which 171 participants from the Netherlands took part. The effects of the advertising strategy scenarios and evidence types were measured on five constructs; trust in the charitable organization, message- and messenger credibility, risk perception and donation intention. Results showed that participants exposed to anecdotal evidence scored statistically significantly higher on trust in the charitable organization as opposed to those exposed to statistical evidence. However, no significant differences were found for message- and messenger credibility, the perceived risk and donation intention between the two evidence types. Results showed no statistically significant differences between participants exposed to charity advertisements that focused on future goals and those exposed to past successes. In addition, also no interaction effects between the advertising strategy scenarios and evidence types were found. Notably, in all four conditions participants scored low on donation intention. The findings of this study provide insight into the effects of evidence types combined with different advertising strategy scenarios in charity fundraising messages, which charitable organizations should take into account when developing advertising messages.
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/65690
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