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100% Giving - What makes donors open their wallets in 2011?

posted on 2023-06-07, 18:45 authored by Tom FarsidesTom Farsides
Background: The foremost psychological theory for explaining and predicting peoples planned behaviours has been very widely supported, including in various charitable and helping areas. It has never been used to investigate British attitudes to charity. Objective: To use an extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour to systematically investigate drivers and inhibitors of peoples intentions to regularly donate money to charity in 2011. Design: A questionnaire was completed by a nationally representative sample of 1030 British adults. It included reliable and valid Theory of Planned Behaviour measures of peoples intentions, attitudes, social norms, perceived control, and beliefs about the likelihood and attractiveness of 12 possible consequences of them regularly donate money to charity in 2011. Results: Use of the extended Theory of Planned Behaviour was strongly supported. Intentions to regularly donate money to charity in 2011 were very well explained by a combination of attitudes to that behaviour and beliefs about how easy or difficult it would be to engage in it. Social norms fell just short of making an independent contribution to that explanation. Peoples beliefs about 7 possible consequences of regularly donating money to charity in 2011 combined to strongly explain their attitudes towards doing so. Of these possible consequences, 3 unambiguously charitable concerns (helping people, helping charities, making the world a better place) encouraged positive attitudes. Particularly relevant in the economic context of 2011, attitudes were negatively affected if people thought that donating regularly to charity in 2011 would leave them personally worse off financially or if they thought that a significant part of their donation would not reach those it was intended for. Conclusions: Despite the current economic climate, peoples intentions to contribute regularly to charity in 2011 are predominantly driven by charitable motives and expectations. Even the charitable will not donate come what may, though. People give for a specific reason; to improve the welfare of particular others without themselves incurring excessive personal costs. People want to be charitable, not foolish. If the personal cost of giving rises or the charitable effectiveness of doing so falls, intentions to give regularly to charity will dip as will actual donations.


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