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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Fundraising for the Self or Others: The Impact of Fundraising Recipient in Online Fundraising Platforms

Published: May 28, 2019


Amir Sepehri, Western University; Rod Duclos, Western University; Kirk Kristofferson, Western University; Hamid Elahi, Western University


Online fundraising; Text analysis; Charitable giving


The advent of online fundraising platforms has made it possible for individuals to donate money to other individuals who are fundraising for themselves as well as for others. Although these online fundraising platforms have become very popular, the impact of raising funds for the self versus others has not been fully investigated. Using a voluminous dataset of online fundraising campaigns, we find that campaigns raising money for the self are less successful than those raising money for others. Also, we show that these effects are moderated by positive and negative emotions such that the negative (positive) effect of self-sourced (other-sourced) campaigns becomes stronger as more negative (positive) emotions are used. We also find that perceptions of selflessness of these online campaigns mediate the effects.