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					    The impact of a pledge
 campaign and the promise of
publicity on charitable giving: a
  randomised controlled trial

     Sarah Cotterill, Peter John, Liz Richardson
  Institute for Political and Economic Governance,
               University of Manchester

 Presentation to the Randomised Controlled Trials in the
        Social Sciences Conference, York, 2010
Pledges and behaviour change

• “Once we make a choice or take a stand, we will
  encounter personal and interpersonal pressures
  to behave consistently” (Cialdini 2009: 52)
• Commitment to a behaviour can lead people to
  identify as someone who behaves in that way –
  and lead to change (Bator & Cialdini 2000)
• Pledges work best if: written down, public,
  groups, voluntary, combined with other marketing
  approaches (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999)
 Pledges and behaviour change -
• Asking people to pledge can raise recycling rates -
  but may just be the personal contact (Reams & Ray
  1993; Bryce et al 1997; Thomas 2006)
• Observation studies suggest pledging can promote
  the use of seatbelts (Geller 1989) & cycle helmets
  (Ludwig 2005) – but part of a wider promotional
• Pledging can encourage voter registration and voter
  turnout (Greenwald et al 1987 – small experiment)
Publicity and behaviour change
• Offer of public recognition as a thank you for
  making a donation.
• Image motivation – the chance to signal to
  others that one is good - “People will act more
  prosocially in the public sphere than in private
  settings” (Ariely et al 2009: 544)
• Donors appreciate the “prestige” of having their
  donations made public (Harburgh 1998).
• Social pressure voting experiments: Shaming
  (e.g. Gerber, Green & Larimer 2008) and Pride
  (e.g. Panagopoulos 2010).
Policy context

• Growing number of pledge schemes – individuals
  are invited to make a public commitment to
  behaviour change:
• Climate Change Pledge Schemes
• / We Are What We Do
• Local Pledges
• Charities
Research Objectives

Can a pledge scheme encourage people to adopt
  civic behaviour?
Research Questions:
• Are those who are asked to make a pledge more
  likely to later carry out the activity, compared to
  people who were not asked to pledge?
• Does the promise of publicity encourage people to
  pledge and carry out the activity?
Children’s Book Week
27 Feb – 6 Mar 2010

• Needs a civic behaviour that is observable,
  measurable, available across a large population;
• Letters to households asking for donations of
  used children’s books;
• Community Heart – a charity which ships books
  from UK for school libraries in South Africa –
  founded by anti-apartheid activist Denis

• All households in 2 electoral wards, Manchester
• Postcode list provided by Manchester City Council
  & Address Finder - excluding businesses.
• Sampling unit = Households
• 11,812 households (5851 + 5961)
• Out of 32 wards in Manchester we selected the
  most affluent ward and the 9th most deprived (2007

• Control Group – invited to donate a book for
  schools in South Africa.
• Pledge Group – asked to pledge that they will
  donate a book for schools in South Africa
• Pledge plus Publicity Group - asked to pledge that
  they will donate a book AND told the list of donors
  will be published locally.
• (Thanks to David Torgerson, who undertook the
  randomisation for us)
                                                 Institute for Political and Economic
                                                 Governance (IPEG)
                                                 Room 2.11 Humanities
                                                 Bridgeford Street Building
                                                 The University of Manchester
                                                 Tel 0161 275 0792

January 2010

Dear resident,

                                Children’s Book Week

                                                                                                   Children’s Book Week
                     Sat 27th February – Saturday 6th March 2010

                    Please pledge to donate a second hand book
                       (in good condition, for a child of any age)

Manchester residents are being asked to pledge to donate a book to help set up
                                                                                             Sat 27th Feb - Sat 6th March 2010
school libraries in South Africa. Millions of children in South Africa have no books and
we can help by donating a book we no longer want.

                    Ways to Pledge
                          Post back the enclosed pledge card.
                          Telephone 0161 275 0792 and leave
                                                                                                         I pledge to give a
                      your name & address.
                         Email your name & address to
                                                               secondhand book
The children’s book collection is being organised by Manchester University together                        (in good condition, for a child of any age)
with Community HEART. Community HEART is a UK registered charity which supports
local self-help initiatives in South Africa (registered charity no. 1052817). They collect
children’s books in the UK and transport them to South Africa, where they are used to
set up school libraries.
I will contact you again nearer to Children’s Book Week, with details of the local drop-
off points to donate your book.
                                                                                              Please send me details of how to donate my book. All donations will be
                     A list of everyone who donates a book will                                used by Community HEART to set up school libraries in South Africa
                                  be displayed locally

Best wishes,

Sarah Cotterill
Research Associate


                                                                                PLEDGE &
CONTROL GRP                       PLEDGE GRP
                                                                              PUBLICITY 3938
3937 households                  3937 households
    Letter 1                    Letter 1+ pledgecard
                                                                              Letter 1+pledgecard

  CONTROL            NON-PLEDGERS              PLEDGERS           NON-PLEDGERS               PLEDGERS
    3937                 3742                     195                 3710                      228
Letter 2 + bookbag   Letter 2 + bookbag       Return pledgecard   Letter 2 + bookbag       Return pledgecard

   RECEIVE              RECEIVE                  RECEIVE             RECEIVE                  RECEIVE
    BOOKS                BOOKS                    BOOKS               BOOKS                    BOOKS

   CHECK                CHECK                    CHECK              PUBLICISE                PUBLICISE
  PUBLICITY            PUBLICITY                PUBLICITY         INVOLVEMENT              INVOLVEMENT

• Intention to Treat analysis.
   – 134 returned letters (mostly empty);
   – 4 households refusals.
• Complementary log-log regression.
• Compare each treatment group and control (other
  treatments treated as missing)
• Includes area data for 22 super output areas
   – Deprivation score, % retired, %under 16; %
     single person households; % religious (ONS)
 - Pledges
                    Control Group    Pledge Group      Pledge &
                                                       Publicity Group
  Households who         0.1%             5.0%             5.8%
  made a Pledge          (n=4)           (n=198)          (n=228)
  Households who       99.9%             95.0%            94.2%
  did not pledge      (n=3933)          (n=3739)         (n=3710)
  Total no. of           3937             3937              3938

• 275 postcard pledges (64.0% of all pledges), 94 email pledges (21.9%);
  61 phone pledges (14.2%).
- Book donations

• 959 book donors (8.1% of households)
   – 674 affluent ward (11.5% of households)
   – 285 deprived ward (4.8% of households)
• 6968 books, exceptional quality.
• Each donor, on average, gave 7.3 books.
• 132 additional book donors.
- Book Donations

                   Control Group   Pledge Group   Pledge &
                                                  Publicity Group
Book donation          7.3%            8.2%           8.9%
                     (n=287)         (n=322)         (n=350)
No book donation      92.7%           91.8%          91.1%
                     (n=3650)        (n=3615)       (n=3588)
Total no. of           3937            3937           3938
Does pledge or publicity work?
Complementary log-log regression
(standard error adjusted for 22 SOA clusters)
                     Pledge Group          Pledge &            All pledges
                                           Publicity Group
 Treatment                         .120               .207*            .164*
                                 (.077)              (.084)           (.074)
 Constant                        -2.581              -2.581          -2.581
                                  (.125)              (.125)          (.125)
 Log pseudo               -2142.464               -2208.977      -3324.235
 Wald Chi2                      2.41                   6.08            4.90
 (Prob > chi2)               (0.120)                (0.014)         (0.027)
 Total households                 3937                3938             7875
 in group

                    ** p <0.01        * p <0.05
Complementary log-log regression
(standard error adjusted for 22 SOA clusters)

                                  Regression     Standard   P value
                                  coefficient    error
Pledge and Publicity                     .209*       .083       0.012
Deprivation score 2007                 -.026**       .004       0.000
% Retired 2001                          6.411*      2.710       0.018
% Under 16 2001                           .057       .280       0.837
% Single person households 2001         -1.051       .877       0.231
% Religious 2001                        -1.155      1.927       0.549
_cons                                   -1.639      1.410       0.245
Wald chi2 = 99.19                          ** p <0.01       * p <0.05
Prob > chi2 = 0.000

• 69% of those who made a pledge went on to
  make a donation (67% of the pledge group and
  71% of the publicity group)
• 76% of those in the publicity group provided their
  name with the donations (compared to 60% in the
  pledge group and 51% in the control group.
• A pledge campaign on its own did not lead to a
  significant rise in book donations.
• Combining the pledge campaign with a promise of
  publicity raised donations from 7.3% to 8.9%, an
  effect size of 22%
• Those who made a pledge were much more likely
  to later give – importance of a control group.
• Asking encourages participation - number of
  donations, quality of books & enthusiasm high.
• Giving is greater in more affluent areas and those
  with a high number of elderly residents.