Donations in digital and social platforms

Digital platforms as an alternative way of financing have opened a new world of opportunities for raising donations. Digital platforms such as mobile apps, donation-based crowdfunding, social network campaigns, web sites with recommender systems have revolutionized charities accesses to donors’ wallets.

Broadly speaking, this project explores whether people give differently in donation raising digital platforms. We explore how characteristics and practices unique to digital platforms influence online charitable behavior, such as donating to a charitable campaign and advocating it.

We try to answer different questions, such as:

  • Are recommender systems, which offer personalized options, as effective for charitable platforms as they are for commodity platforms?
  • Are donations via crowdfunding platforms influenced by others (considering the mere presence of others, perceiving donation amount as a social norms etc) as they are in off-line donations (donating at church)?
  • Do online donors search more for more donation options before making a donation decision, than offline donors?
  • Do social network campaigns activate more fear of social sanctions (e.g. fear of shaming) than online campaigns which are not social and does this fear drive donation giving?
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