Could Charity Marketing Programs Actually Hurt Donations?

We’ve all seen the Red Campaign to raise awareness and dollars for the fight against AIDS in Africa by giving a small portion of the profits of from sales of certain products (coffee, yogurt, t-shirts) to charity.  (An example is below).  But have you ever wondered if all that buying of cause-related products hurts donations to charities? The answer is yes, according to a study from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“If two consumers have equal preference for a product, which is offered at the same price to both, but one of them buys this product as a cause-marketing product, her charitable giving will be lower than the other’s,” Ms. Krishna writes.

It was a reminder to me to see my purchase of Newmans’ Own products (the profits of which are donated to charity) as simply another purchase, rather than as a charitable gift.  It’s also prompting me to ask myself what are the unintended consequences of other innovative fundraising initiatives?

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Posted in For Givers, For Ministry, Giving in the News, Giving on the Web, Your thoughts. Comments Off on Could Charity Marketing Programs Actually Hurt Donations?
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