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 www.civicbehaviour.org.uk 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 - research • 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 campaign. • 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 • Pledgebank.com / 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 Goldberg Population • 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 IMD) Randomisation • 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 email@example.com 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 Name: set up school libraries. Address: 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 WDB POPULATION (11,812 households) PLEDGE & CONTROL GRP PLEDGE GRP PUBLICITY 3938 3937 households 3937 households 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 ANALYSIS • 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) RESULTS - 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 households • 275 postcard pledges (64.0% of all pledges), 94 email pledges (21.9%); 61 phone pledges (14.2%). RESULTS - 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. RESULTS - 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 households RESULTS 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 likelihood 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 RESULTS 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 OTHER RESULTS • 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. Summary • 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.