Social participation and charitable giving: A multivariate analysis

  • Paul G. Schervish
  • John J. Havens

DOI: 10.1007/BF02354199

Cite this article as:
Schervish, P.G. & Havens, J.J. Voluntas (1997) 8: 235. doi:10.1007/BF02354199


Despite an abundance of survey data on charitable giving, researchers have not analysed these data asking the kinds of theoretical questions and employing the kinds of multivariate statistical techniques that would advance our understanding of the social processes leading to charitable behaviour. This article reports the authors' first findings from their continuing efforts to develop and test such a multivariate causal model of the social, demographic, economic and motivational determinants of individual charitable giving. The first section outlines ouridentification theory of charitable giving. In the second section we discuss the data and how we operationalise our variables. The third section examines whether there is broad quantitative support for major tenets of the model developed if applied at the household level. In the fourth section we enquire about which factors are most strongly related to giving behaviour. We conclude with a discussion about the centrality of communities of participation for inducing charitable giving and about the practical implications for fundraising.

Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul G. Schervish
    • 1
  • John J. Havens
    • 2
  1. 1.Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston CollegeChestnut Hill
  2. 2.Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston CollegeBostonUSA

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