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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Donating Cash or Donating Objects? How Donation Type Determines Donation Likelihood

Published: May 27, 2020


XIAOZHOU ZHOU, IE Business School; Dilney Gonçalves, IE Business School – IE University


Imagery; Segmentation; Construal-level


Non-profits are concerned that in-kind donations can cause more harm than benefits. Nonetheless, this research provides evidence that donors consistently prefer in-kind donations over cash donations across different situations. This is because the concreteness of in-kind donations allows people to better imagine how their donations can be used, which increases their contribution confidence. We also show that donors’ preference for in-kind donations can be attenuated by low construal levels or strengthened by high imaginal processing ability. Our research contributes to the literature of charitable giving and consumer imagination, as well as providing practical implications for donor segmentation.