The Effects of Informational Framing on Charitable Pledges: Experimental Evidence from a Fund Raising Campaign

We designed a field experiment to test the direction of the impact of informational frame on charitable pledges. We solicited charitable pledges from 395 students during a campaign aimed at helping students through students at the School of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad. The participants are randomly divided into 5 different treatments. In the Pledge Disclosed (PD) treatment, we provided information to students about the average size of pledge we received from participants in the Baseline (BL) treatment. Similarly, in the Need Disclosed (ND) treatment, we provided information about the total need of those who asked for assistantship. In the Pledge & Need Disclosed (P&ND) treatment, we informed the students about both the need as well as the pledge made by the students to meet that need. In All Disclosed (AD) treatment, we provided details about the need, pledges, the previous history of the project, and the pledge by Charity Australia International. The findings show that relative to BL treatment, charitable pledges decreased when participants were informed about the previous pledges and the total required need. However, charitable pledge increased when full information was provided to the participants.

Anwar Shah

Karim Khan

Tariq Majeed