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Journal articles (2021), Journal of Consumer Psychology, 31 (3), pp. 612-620

The Power of Indirect Appeals in Peer‐to‐Peer Fundraising: Why “S/He” Can Raise More Money for Me Than “I” Can For Myself

SEPEHRI Amir , Duclos Rod, Kristofferson Kirk, Vinoo Poornima, Elahi Hamid

The proliferation of peer-to-peer fundraising platforms (e.g., GoFundMe, Rally, Fundly) poses conceptual and substantive challenges for behavior scientists and fundraisers. This article explores how fundraisers should craft their appeals to maximize their chance of success. Four field- and laboratory-studies find that direct appeals (i.e., narratives written in the first person by the intended recipient) raise less money than otherwise-identical indirect appeals (i.e., narratives written in the third person, seemingly by a third party on behalf of the intended recipient). The cause? Prospective donors ascribe lesser (greater) credibility to direct (indirect) appeals, which in turn curtails (increases) their giving. Since the narrative voice (direct vs. indirect) in which appeals are crafted is often discretionary (i.e., adjustable), our findings offer prescriptive guidelines for fundraisers. Link to the article

SEPEHRI, A., DUCLOS, R., KRISTOFFERSON, K., VINOO, P. and ELAHI, H. (2021). The Power of Indirect Appeals in Peer‐to‐Peer Fundraising: Why “S/He” Can Raise More Money for Me Than “I” Can For Myself. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 31(3), pp. 612-620.