Article

Marketing Letters

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 109-118

Why money meanings matter in decisions to donate time and money

  • Promothesh ChatterjeeAffiliated withSchool of Business, University of Kansas
  • , Randall L. RoseAffiliated withDarla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
  • , Jayati SinhaAffiliated withEller College of Management, University of Arizona Email author 

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Abstract

Most charitable organizations cannot accomplish their missions without asking for money. This is paradoxical because recent research suggests that mentioning money primes a self-sufficient mindset, thus undermining the very behaviors these organizations desire to elicit. We offer an important qualification to this problematic effect. We find that priming cash concepts reduces willingness to help others, while activating credit card concepts reverses these effects. To explain our findings, in three studies we show that priming cash concepts makes costs associated with donating time or money more salient in the decision context, thereby reducing willingness to give help and to receive it. However, priming credit card concepts makes the benefits of donation more salient.

Keywords

Money Priming Charity Donation Helping Credit