Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 295-312

First online:

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

  • Beverly T. VenableAffiliated withColumbus State University
  • , Gregory M. RoseAffiliated withUniversity of Washington
  • , Victoria D. BushAffiliated withUniversity of Mississippi
  • , Faye W. GilbertAffiliated withGeorgia College & State University

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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.


nonprofit marketing brand personality measurement social exchange charitable giving