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Appeals In Charity Advertisements Psychology Essay

Appeals In Charity Advertisements Psychology Essay

In our daily lives, we are often exposed to charity campaigns that attempt to persuade us to donate to people in need. We believe, intuitively, that most donation campaigns are focused on making people feel sympathetic by highlighting who the beneficiaries are and what benefits are to be given to them. However, would such a strategy work all the time? Imagine that you are standing before a development-fund campaign that is designed to help students from a university with which you are not affiliated; you may find it difficult to identify yourself with them. It would be harder to engage in charitable behaviors, particularly if the university is a rival of yours or if you do not have favorable attitudes toward the university. How can we increase the effectiveness of donation campaigns that are geared toward such out-group beneficiaries? What types of appeals can be effectively used to make people donate in such cases?

Previous literature suggests that charitable giving is driven by both altruism (Batson, 1990; Dovidio, Allen, & Schoeder, 1990; Fisher, Vandenbosch, & Antia, 2008) and egoism (Cialdini, Brown, Lewis, Luce, & Neuberg, 1997; Miller & Ratner, 1998; Omoto & Snyder, 1995). People certainly help others out of a desire to ameliorate the plight of others in need. At the same time, however, they often do so to reduce their own personal distress that they may feel as a response to the suffering of others (Batson, O’Quin, Fultz, Vanderplas, & Isen, 1983) or to receive personal rewards (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008; Holmes, Miller, & Lerner, 2002). As such, researchers have distinguished between empathetic, or pure, altruism and egoistic, or impure, altruism. The former emphasizes benefits to others or the society and the latter focuses on tangible or intangible rewards that the givers personally receive (Andreoni, 1990; Batson & Shaw, 1991; Krishna, 2011).

Given these two distinct motivations that lead to charitable giving, marketers often use two types of appeals in charity advertisements. In order to provoke altruistic motivation, other-benefit appeals highlight benefits for the beneficiaries in need, such as “Help poor people to have hopes and dreams” or “Make the community a better place for everyone.” In contrast, self-benefit appeals stimulate egoistic motivation by emphasizing benefits for the givers themselves, such as “Get a premium membership in a non-profit organization” or “Feel happy by doing meaningful activities” (Fisher, Vandenbosch, & Antia, 2008; White & Peloza, 2009).

Whether appeals that focus on benefits for either the beneficiaries or the givers are more effective in enhancing donation intentions has been controversial (Carlson & Miller, 1987; Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008; Fisher & Antia, 2008; Holmes, Miller, & Lerner, 2002; Pessemier, Bemmaor, & Hanssens, 1997). Intuitively, we may think that other-benefit appeals would be more effective than self-benefit appeals because donating is inherently a prosocial behavior that focuses on promoting others’ benefit and social welfare. However, it has been shown that people often perform charitable behaviors to benefit themselves; thus, self-benefit appeals may be as persuasive as other-benefit appeals in increasing donation intentions (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008; Holmes, Miller, & Lerner, 2002).

Recently, some researchers have taken a moderation approach to resolving such mixed positions. They have proposed and found that individual or contextual differences moderate the effect of self- versus other-benefit appeals on donation intentions (Brunel & Nelson, 2000; Nelson, Brunel, Supphellen, & Manchanda, 2006; White & Peloza, 2009). For example, masculinity is more closely related to egoistic help-self appeals, whereas femininity is more closely related to empathic help-others appeals (Brunel & Nelson, 2000; Horniks, Hendriks, & Thijzen, 2009). Also, other-benefit appeals generate greater donation intentions in public places because of concerns about public self-image (White & Peloza, 2009).

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By a similar logic, we propose that the beneficiaries’ group identity moderates the effects of two benefit foci on donation intentions. An emerging body of research has revealed that consumer identity, such as moral and gender identity (Winterich, Mittal, & Ross, 2009), social identity (Winterich & Barone, 2011), and political identity (Brooks, 2006; Smiley, 2004; Winterich, Zhang, & Mittal, 2012), is a critical factor in understanding charitable behaviors. However, previous research has focused only on the givers’ identity and downplayed the potential importance of the beneficiaries’ group identity in garnering charitable support.

A primary reason why we focus on the construct of the beneficiaries’ social identity in this research is that one of the two different motivations for charitable behaviors is likely to play a dominant role, depending on who the beneficiaries are. When the beneficiaries are perceived as belonging to the same group as the givers, the givers can easily identify with the beneficiaries and become empathetically altruistic. On the other hand, when the beneficiaries are deemed to be out-group members, the givers’ self-centered, egoistic motivation may be more dominant in driving charitable giving. Although there is a general tendency for people to be willing to help in-group versus out-group members (Levine, Cassidy, Braziers, & Reicher, 2002), we contend that slight changes in focus in charity advertisements can be conducive to facilitating donations, even for out-group beneficiaries; that is, we can effectively encourage people to engage in charitable activities by strengthening the perception that such behaviors can provide personal benefits. We investigate this rationale in this research.

The remainder of this paper is organized as follows; we review relevant literature on benefit focus in charity advertisements and the potential role of the beneficiaries’ group identity, from which we derive our hypotheses. We then test the hypotheses in three experimental studies. To manipulate the beneficiaries’ group identity, we use nationality (Studies 1 and 3) and university rivalry (Study 2). In Study 3, we demonstrate two distinct underlying processes by which benefit focus determines donation intentions, depending on the beneficiaries’ group identity.

We believe that people help others for altruistic reasons; thus, we expect that other-benefit appeals are more effective than self-benefit appeals in facilitating charitable giving. In an examination of viewers’ actual responses to a fund-raising campaign provided by television stations, for example, Fisher, Vendenbosch, and Antia (2008) have proposed the empathy-helping hypothesis and found that emphasizing benefits to others rather than to the self is more effective in raising donation intentions. By comparison, self-focused benefits, such as obtaining a premium membership, monetary incentives, or a gift in return for a donation, can have negative impacts on charitable giving by crowding out the givers’ pure and intrinsic motivation (Frey, 1997). For example, respondents to a mail survey are less willing to donate blood if monetary rewards are given in return for their donations (Pessemier, Bemmaor, & Hanssens, 1977). Similarly, purchasing a cause marketing product is perceived to be inherently more selfish than engaging in pure charitable giving, thereby lowering purchasers’ happiness (Krishna, 2011).

On the basis of such findings, one may infer that helping out of empathetic versus egoistic altruism leads to more charitable giving and perhaps a higher level of subsequent happiness. This tentative proposition accords well with a line of research that has suggested that empathetic altruism is the key motivation for prosocial behaviors. Philosophers of ancient Greece, such as Aristotle, argued that pure altruism is a part of human nature (Masters, 1978b). More recently, psychologists have presented the empathy-altruism hypothesis, which implies that “empathic emotions evoke truly altruistic motivation that has an ultimate goal of benefiting not the self but the person for whom empathy is felt” (Batson & Shaw, 1991, p. 107).

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In contrast, however, another stream of research supports the idea that charitable giving can also be prompted by egoism. If so, self-benefit appeals can be equally successful in encouraging the givers’ support. Thomas Hobbes, one of the founders of modern political philosophy, once noted that altruistic behavior is nothing more than a mask for selfishness. He argued that, when watching a beggar’s misery, he would donate to the beggar with the sole intention of relieving his own distress (Aubrey, 1898). In addition to reducing aversive arousal as suggested by Hobbes, there are other egoistic motives for altruistic behavior (Batson & Shaw, 1991), such as anticipating a reward for helping or avoiding a punishment for not.

Whatever the specific motives, the key proposition is that one’s charitable giving can be instrumental in achieving personal benefits for oneself, such as emotional warm glow (i.e., “Donating makes me feel good”), as well as providing societal benefit. Such a belief in personal benefits predicted actual future donations more accurately, thus confirming the benevolence hypothesis (Holmes, Miller, & Lerner, 2002). Similarly, a blood donation campaign benefited by focusing on egoistic versus altruistic messages (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008). In summary, we can understand charitable giving from the two different theoretical perspectives that have their own traditions and conceptual theorizing.

In order to resolve the two somewhat conflicting perspectives, we draw upon the concept of social identity. The social identity theory suggests that individuals categorize themselves into, and derive their self-concepts from, social groups (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). Social groups to which individuals belong give them special meanings and are directly related to their self-esteem (Chen & Li, 2006; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). As one’s relationship to a group as a member becomes stronger, his or her will to support the group becomes more intense.

Generally, people strive to maintain positive social identities by belonging to attractive social groups or enhancing the values of their groups (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). People unite strongly with their in-group members, probably to increase the competitiveness of the in-group for survival (Mullen, Brown, & Smith, 1992; Sumner, 1906). Therefore, people behave more positively to their in-groups than to their out-groups, a phenomenon referred to as in-group preference (Escalas & Bettman, 2005). Furthermore, in-group members tend to distinguish themselves from out-group members by treating them unfairly and less favorably. The presence of in-group bias is quite prevalent in most human social groups.

The beneficiaries’ group identity is particularly important in the current context, where the differential effects of two benefit foci are examined, because an emerging stream of research has suggested that there can be a close correspondence between social identity and benefit focus. An individual may become more other-oriented, for example, as the beneficiaries come to fall within the circle of in-groups whose perception is jointly determined by gender and moral identity (Winterich, Mittal, & Ross, 2009). People with a feminine gender identity that typically focuses on a strong obligation to in-groups, donate to “nominal” out-groups when their social circle is expanded as a result of a high degree of importance being placed on moral identity. In turn, people may become more self-focused when they consider donating to those groups that are perceived to be excluded from the circle of their social identity. In a similar vein, another study indicates that, compared to interdependent consumers, independent counterparts whose self-image is to a lesser extent determined by the social identification process, are more exclusive of others as in-groups; as such, they prefer self-focused price discounts to other-focused donation-based promotions (Winterich & Barone, 2011).

To summarize, other-benefit appeals are more effective in increasing donations for in-group beneficiaries. To enhance charitable support for out-group members, however, it seems more effective to use self-benefit appeals that stimulate egoistic altruism. The fulfillment of one’s own personal benefits facilitates the helping of out-group members. Thus:

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We propose that two conceptually different motivations underlie an interactive effect between benefit focus and the beneficiaries’ group identity on donation intentions. An overarching premise is that other-oriented altruistic (self-serving egoistic) motivation drives charitable giving for in-group (out-group) beneficiaries. To account for these processes, we introduce two mediating variables: sympathy for the beneficiaries and belief in personal benefits.

Sympathy, which refers to “an emotional reaction to another’s emotional state or condition,” is primarily related to altruistic motivation for charitable giving (Batson, 1987). As such, sympathy for the beneficiaries plays an important role in fostering people’s general tendency to engage in charitable giving. For example, people who saw a photo of sad-faced (versus happy- or neutral-faced) child felt greater sympathy, which increased their donation amounts (Small & Verrochi, 2009). Similarly, people who experienced the same misfortunes as victims were more sympathetic, which, in turn, led to greater donations (Small & Simonsohn, 2008). People who felt greater sympathy for identified versus abstract statistical victims subsequently showed greater generosity in their donations (Kogut & Ritov, 2005; Small & Loewenstein, 2003). Therefore, when people have similar experiences as, or empathize with, victims, they have greater sympathy, which makes them become more likely to donate.

On the other hand, belief in personal benefits, which refers to the givers’ belief about the extent to which they would personally benefit from donations (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008), concerns egoistic motivation for charitable giving. Personal benefits are a critical factor, particularly when people perform high-cost helping behaviors (Weyant, 1978). For example, the egoistic belief that they could enjoy personal benefits-material (e.g., monetary rewards) or immaterial (e.g., mood elevation)-predicted actual blood donation better than societal benefits (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008).

We predict that sympathy for the beneficiaries drives donations when the beneficiaries belong to the same group as the givers, whereas belief in personal benefits performs a crucial function when the beneficiaries are perceived to belong to out-groups. This prediction is consistent with previous studies on cooperative and prosocial behaviors (de Waal & Davis, 2003; Melis, Hare, & Tomasello, 2006). Even when familiarity and bonding between benefactors and recipients do not exist in the relationship, learned reciprocity from previous cooperation can produce prosocial behaviors; this exchange, in turn, secures return favors in the future (de Waal & Suchak, 2010). To summarize, we hypothesize that the proposed effects of the match between benefit focus and the beneficiaries’ group identity on donation intentions are accounted for by the two proposed mediators (Fig. 1). Thus, we predict the following:

The primary objective of Study 1 is to examine whether the beneficiaries’ group identity moderates the effectiveness of the two benefit foci of appeals on donation intentions (Hypothesis 1). In Study 1, we use nationality to manipulate the beneficiaries’ group identity. Thus, we predict that other-benefit appeals are more effective than self-benefit appeals in generating higher donation intentions when the givers and the beneficiaries share the same national identity. In contrast, self-benefit appeals are more persuasive than other-benefit appeals when the beneficiaries are regarded as citizens of another country.

Seventy-four Korean undergraduate students volunteered on campus to participate in completing a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. They were randomly assigned to one of four conditions in a 2 (benefit focus: other vs. self) ´ 2 (beneficiary: in-group vs. out-group) between-participants design. Participants read advertisements for a campaign that requested donations to help either Korean or Nation A’s handicapped students, depending on the beneficiary manipulation. The campaign was described as a part of international charity that UNICEF hosted in forty different nations. Since this study was conducted among Korean participants, Korean (Nation A’s) handicapped students in the advertisements were considered as the in-group (out-group) beneficiaries.

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Two versions of the advertisements, which varied benefit focusbenefit-focusbenefit focus of appeals, were created by adapting the stimuli used in White and Peloza (2009). Specifically, other-benefit appeals focused on how donations could benefit physically-disabled college students, by including such descriptions as “Help disabled students to study better and enjoy their campus life,” “Encourage them to have hopes and dreams,” and “Contribute to developing a better campus environment for disabled students.” In contrast, self-benefit appeals emphasized the fact that the givers could gain some personal benefits and privileges from participating in the campaign, providing such descriptions as “Get a UNICEF membership, which is big plus on your resume,” “Network with international students in the campaign-affiliated conference,” and “Ultimately achieve self-fulfillment.” After being exposed to either of the appeals, participants responded to the manipulation-check measures for benefit focus, measures to assess donation intentions, and a organizational identification scale to assess the level of identification for the designated beneficiaries in the advertisements. Finally, participants completed demographic measures, were thanked for their participation, and dismissed.

Participants evaluated the effectiveness of the benefit-focus manipulation on six seven-point items (1 = not at all, 7 = extremely; White & Peloza, 2009): “To what degree is this an altruistic appeal?,” “To what degree is this focused on helping others?,” “To what degree is this appeal associated with looking out for the interest of others?,” “To what degree is this an egoistic appeal?,” “To what degree is this focused on helping oneself?,” and “To what degree is this appeal associated with looking out for one’s own interests?” We reverse-coded the first three items and averaged all six items to form a composite index; the higher the score on this index, the more egoistic the appeals. Next, we assessed participants’ donation intentions on two seven-point items (1 = not at all, 7 = extremely): “How inclined are you to participate in this donation campaign?” and “How willing are you to make a donation to this campaign?” (White & Peloza, 2009).

Finally, participants completed a five-item organizational identification scale (Mael & Ashforth, 1992) to check whether they perceived the beneficiaries in the advertisements as intended. The scale included the following five items (1 = not at all, 7 = extremely): “When someone criticizes [Korea or Nation A], it feels like a personal insult,” “I am very interested in what others think about [Korea or Nation A],” “When I talk about [Korea or Nation A], I usually say ‘we’ rather than ‘they’,” “When someone praises [Korea or Nation A], it feels like a personal compliment,” “If CNN criticized [Korea or Nation A], I would feel embarrassed.”

In Study 1, we found that the effects of benefit focus of appeals were not unidirectional; rather, it depended upon one’s perception of the beneficiaries’ social identity. We confirmed the importance of the beneficiaries’ group identity as a variable that determines the relative merit of the two benefit foci. The differential effects of benefit focus emerged as predicted for the case of the in-group beneficiaries. However, self-benefit appeals did not significantly increase donation intentions when the beneficiaries were out-group members.

We speculate that our selection of the out-group beneficiaries could account for such surprising results. Our Korean participants might perceive Nation A to be significantly lower in group status than Korea, as we confirmed in a pretest of Study 2. To confirm the positive effect of self- versus other-benefit appeals for out-group beneficiaries, it would be better to use out-groups that are considered as at least as high in group status as in-groups or threatening to in-groups (Leach, Spears, Branscombe, & Doosje, 2003). In such cases, egoistic altruism can be easily activated; for example, the members of low-status groups would help high-status or rival out-groups for egoistic reasons, such as to prove their competence and enhance their reputation (van Leeuwen & Täuber, 2011), or to experience malicious pleasure (Leach, Spears, Branscombe, & Doosje, 2003). In Study 2, we choose two rival universities in South Korea.

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Finally, we measured our manipulation check for benefit focus before measuring our main dependent measure. As such, the check could have served as a prime that made specific types of benefits more salient, thereby leading to differential effects of benefit focus. To fix this problem, we conduct a pretest before Study 2 to verify the validity of our benefit-focus manipulation among an independent sample; as such, we do not include the manipulation-check measures for benefit focus in Studies 2 and 3.

We demonstrate in Study 2 that self-benefit appeals are more effective than other-benefit appeals in generating greater donation intentions for out-group beneficiaries. We select two South Korean rival universities (i.e., Yonsei and Korea University) that hold very competitive positions to each other, not only in academics but also in sports; it is similar to the North Carolina-Duke basketball rivalry in the United States. We recruit our participants from Korea University; as such, handicapped students from Yonsei University, who are featured in charity advertisements, serve as the out-group beneficiaries.

We tested whether two types of appeals were effectively manipulated as intended. We did not specify any specific groups as the beneficiaries; instead, handicapped college students in forty different countries where the campaign took place were designated as the general beneficiaries. Thirty-three participants read either other- or self-benefit appeals and responded to the manipulation check for benefit focus, attitude toward advertisements, and donation intentions. We measured the manipulation-check measures (α = .87) and donation intentions (α = .79), as in Study 1. We assessed attitude toward advertisements on three bipolar scales (1 = bad, negative, and unfavorable, 7 = good, positive, and favorable; α = .84).

Using two rival universities, we demonstrated that self-benefit appeals were more effective than other-benefit appeals in generating greater donation intentions for the out-group beneficiaries. Our findings showed that emphasizing benefits to the givers rather than to the beneficiaries could be an effective persuasion strategy, particularly when the beneficiaries are members of rival out-groups. Furthermore, conducting a separate pretest lessened the concern that the manipulation check for benefit focus influenced donation intentions in any meaningful way. In Study 3, we uncover the mediation processes that underlie the proposed effects by investigating the roles of two mediators: sympathy for the beneficiaries and belief in personal benefits.

In Study 3, we measure processing fluency as a potential alternative account for the observed matching effect between benefit focus and the beneficiaries’ group identity. It is possible that the fit between benefit focus and the beneficiaries’ group identity facilitates fluent processing of advertisements (Cesario, Grant, & Higgins, 2004). When a message frame is consistent with the way in which people naturally think, information processing becomes easier and leads to more favorable attitudes toward the message (Lee & Aaker, 2004).

Before proceeding to examine our mediation processes, we asked three questions that assessed the extent of Nations A and B’s rivalry with Korea (Leach, Spears, Branscombe, & Doosje 2003). The first question asked whether the educational environment in Nation A or B was better than that in South Korea. The second question asked whether the welfare facilities for handicapped people in Nation A or B were better than those in South Korea. Finally, the third question asked directly whether Nation A or B was a rival of South Korea. The three questions were all assessed on seven-point scales (1 = disagree very much, 7 = agree very much). Fifty-two Korean undergraduate students participated.

After being exposed to the advertisements, participants responded to a set of measures. They provided ratings for donation intentions, processing fluency, two proposed mediators, and organizational identification. We assessed donation intentions and organization identification as in Study 1. To measure sympathy for the beneficiaries, we asked participants to rate the extent to which they felt “moved,” “sympathetic,” “compassionate,” and “softhearted” (1 = not at all, 7 = very much; Eisenberg et al., 1989). We assessed belief in personal benefits by asking the extent to which participants believed that they would personally benefit from taking part in the donation (1 = not at all, 7 = very much; Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008). Finally, we measured the level of processing fluency that participants felt during the exposure to the advertisements using three seven-point measures: “easy to understand,” “feels right,” and “easy to accept” (1 = not at all, 7 = very much; Cesario, Grant, & Higgins, 2004).

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In Study 3, we found that two types of appeals influenced donation intentions depending on whether they matched the beneficiaries’ group identity. While we replicated the finding of Study 1 that for the in-group beneficiaries, other-benefit appeals were more effective in generating greater donation intentions, we also confirmed that self-benefit appeals were more effective for the out-group beneficiaries. Most importantly, we uncovered the underlying processes by testing the moderated mediation model. As predicted, sympathy for the beneficiaries (belief in personal benefits) mediated the effect of benefit focus on donation intentions for the in-group (out-group) beneficiaries.

At the most basic level, results across three studies support the hypothesis that the beneficiaries’ group identity moderates the effects of benefit focus on donation intentions; other-benefit appeals are more effective in increasing donation intentions for in-group beneficiaries, whereas self-benefit appeals are more persuasive in encouraging donation intentions, at least for high-status or rival out-group beneficiaries. Given the widely accepted proposition that there are two distinct motivations for charitable giving, our findings suggest that which of the two motivations emerges as dominant is determined by the perception of who the beneficiaries are of the donations. In Study 3, we demonstrate two underlying processes by confirming that altruistic motivation which is characterized by sympathy for the beneficiaries plays a dominant role in forming donation intentions for the in-group beneficiaries, whereas egoistic motivation which is represented by belief in personal benefits seems to drive donations for the out-group beneficiaries.

Findings of the current research have several theoretical and managerial implications. First, we confirm previous findings that motivations to drive charitable behaviors are not only altruistic, but also egoistic. People often help others for egoistic reasons, particularly when the behavior requires high costs (Ferguson, Farrell, & Lawrence, 2008; Weyant, 1978). However, our findings show that the givers help out of egoistic motivation if the beneficiaries are out-group members, even when large costs are not associated with such helping. Overall, our findings corroborate the assertion that both altruistic and egoistic motivations serve as powerful catalysts to induce charitable giving.

Second, there have been mixed findings about whether other-benefit appeals are always more effective than self-benefit appeals in persuading people to donate. By identifying the beneficiaries’ group identity as a moderator that is important both theoretically and managerially, the current research resolves conflicting findings in the literature and provides a guideline for situations in which either other- or self-benefit appeals are more or less critical to increasing donation intentions. Since mixing egoistic and altruistic appeals together reduces donation intentions because people recognize a hidden persuasion motive and experience psychological reactance (Feiler, Tost, & Grant, 2012), using either appeal alone, depending on the beneficiaries’ group identity, would be more effective in encouraging participation in charity campaigns.

Third, we demonstrate the importance of social identity as a critical factor that significantly influences charitable giving. Salience of several identities, such as moral, gender, or cultural identities affects decision making about donations (Winterich, Mittal, & Ross, 2009; Winterich & Barone, 2011; Winterich, Zhang, & Mittal, 2012). We add to this literature by identifying the beneficiaries’ group identity, which has been not been considered much in the context of intergroup helping. We underscore the importance of the beneficiaries’ social identity, whereas most extant research has focused on the givers’ identity.

As such, our research provides insight into how to increase donation intentions for out-groups. Previous studies have found that people generally help in-group more than out-group members (Levine, Cassidy, Brazier, & Reicher, 2002). This phenomenon is not only driven by in-group bias, but also people’s incorrect inferences that out-group victims would feel less “uniquely human” emotions, such as mourning, than in-group victims (Cuddy, Rock, & Norton, 2006). Therefore, making people have empathetic feelings for out-group beneficiaries seems very challenging. However, the current research reveals that people are encouraged to help out-group members when the personal benefits that they can earn from such helping are highlighted.

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Therefore, marketers in nonprofit organizations should consider the beneficiaries’, as well as the givers’, social identity. When designing charity campaigns, marketers should attend to whether the givers’ identity is matched or mismatched with the beneficiaries’ identity. Such a consideration provides guidance about what to emphasize in advertisements. For example, business-oriented social initiatives, such as Project RED that donates to AIDS-related charities to help people in Africa, should emphasize self-focused benefits from obtaining products, as in other cause marketing products, because such initiatives are basically targeted toward out-group beneficiaries.

The current research is not free from limitations, notwithstanding its critical contribution to the literature. First, we measure behavioral intentions rather than actual behavior across the three studies. We believe that a naturalistic study equipped with behavioral measurements, as well as diverse stimuli, would add an incremental value to the current and past research; however, previous research has shown that donation intentions and actual monetary donations do not reveal significant discrepancy, at least in a laboratory setting (White & Peloza, 2009).

Second, many groups at different levels (e.g., cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and ethnicities) coexist in consumers’ lives. Among these levels, we used nationality and universi



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