Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving

  title={Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving},
  author={James Andreoni and Justin M. Rao and Hannah Trachtman},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={625 - 653}
If people enjoy giving, then why do they avoid fund-raisers? Partnering with the Salvation Army at Christmastime, we conducted a randomized field experiment placing bell ringers at one or both main entrances to a supermarket, making it easy or difficult to avoid the ask. Additionally, bell ringers either were silent or said “please give.” Making avoidance difficult increased both the rate of giving and donations. Paradoxically, the verbal ask dramatically increased giving but also led to… 
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