, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 295-312

The role of brand personality in charitable giving: An assessment and validation

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Abstract

Marketing concepts such as corporate identity, image, and branding are important strategies for nonprofit organizations. In particular, brand personality has been advocated by practitioners but has not been empirically investigated in the nonprofit context. According to social exchange theory and trust, the authors argue that nonprofit stakeholders perceive nonprofit organizations at an abstract level because of the organizations’ intangibility and social ideals. This study develops and refines a parsimonious measure of brand personality specifically for the nonprofit context. The authors conduct a series of six multimethod studies of nonprofit stakeholders to validate the role of brand personality in nonprofit organizations. The results yield four dimensions of brand personality for nonprofits: integrity, nurturance, sophistication, and ruggedness. Thus, current and potential donors ascribe personality traits to nonprofit organizations and differentiate between nonprofits on the basis of the organizations’ personality. Finally, nonprofit brand personality may influence potential donors’ likelihood to contribute.

Beverly T. Venable (venable_beverly@colstate.edu; Ph.D., University of Mississippi) is an assistant professor of marketing at Columbus State University. Her research interests are in nonprofit marketing, branding, and ethics. She has published in theJournal of Business Ethics and several national and international proceedings.
Gregory M. Rose (rosegm@u.washington.edu; Ph.D., University of Oregon) is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Washington, Tacoma. His research interests include consumer socialization and cross-cultural consumer behavior. He has published articles in theJournal of Consumer Research, theJournal of Marketing, theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Business Research, theJournal of Advertising, and theJournal of Consumer Psychology, as well as other journals and proceedings.
Victoria D. Bush (vbush@bus.olemiss.edu; Ph.D., University of Memphis) is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Mississippi. Her research interests include cultural diversity in buyer-seller relationships, advertising ethics, and Internet marketing. Her research has been published in theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Advertising Research, theJournal of Advertising, theJournal of Public Policy and Marketing, andIndustrial Marketing Management, as well as other journals and proceedings.
Faye W. Gilbert (faye.gilbert@gcsu.edu; Ph.D., University of North Texas) is a professor of marketing and dean of the J. Whitney Bunting School of Business at Georgia College and State University. Her research interests are in customer relationship management, health care marketing, and sales management. She has published in theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Business Research, theJournal of Retailing, Psychology and Marketing, as well as other journals and proceedings.