High-Capacity Donors’ Preferences for Charitable Giving Academic Article uri icon


  • How can charities solicit high-capacity donors to provide the funds for matching grants and leadership gifts? In conjunction with Texas A&M University’s fundraising organizations, we conducted a field experiment to study whether high-income donors respond to nonpersonal solicitations. We also designed the experiment to test the impact of allowing for directed giving on the giving behavior of high-income donors and their willingness to direct their donations toward overhead costs. High-income donors are not responsive to letters or emails, regardless of whether they have the option to direct giving; we cannot conclude, therefore, that giving behavior is different for those who could direct giving compared with those who could not. Our results highlight the difficulties of motivating some high-income donors, especially when only impersonal communication is used.

altmetric score

  • 12.03

author list (cited authors)

  • Alston, M., Eckel, C., Meer, J., & Zhan, W.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • April 2021