When the relatively poor prosper: the Underdog Effect on charitable donations

Bradley, Alex and Lawrence, Claire and Ferguson, Eamonn (2018) When the relatively poor prosper: the Underdog Effect on charitable donations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly . ISSN 1552-7395

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In fundraising, it is common for the donor to see how much a charity has received so far. What is the impact of this information on a) how much people choose to donate and b) which charity they choose to donate to? Conditional cooperation suggests that people will donate to the charity that has received the most prior support, while the Underdog Effect suggests increased donations to the charity with the least support. Across 2 laboratory experiments, an online study (combined N = 494) and a qualitative survey (N = 60), a consistent preference to donate to the charity with the least prior support was observed. Thus, the Underdog Effect was supported. We suggest people will show a preference for the underdog if there are two or more charities to donate to, one of the charities is at a disadvantage and people have little pre-existing loyalty to either charity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Social Information, Charitable Donations, Underdog Effect, Impact Philanthropy
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764018794305
Depositing User: Bradley, Alexander
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 10:11
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2018 11:06
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50967

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