The use of displays in soliciting charitable donations

S. Mark Pancer1, Cheryl Deforest1, Ian Rogers2, Donna Schmirler1
1University of Saskatchewan, Canada
2University Of Saskatchewan, Canada
Cite this article:  Pancer, S. M., Deforest, C., Rogers, I., & Schmirler, D. (1979). The use of displays in soliciting charitable donations. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 7(1), 33-38.

Volume 7 Issue 1 | e248 | Published: February 1979 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1979.7.1.33

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Four types of appeal were used to determine which would be the most effective in eliciting interest in and donations to a charity for children. In a "needy child" appeal, a picture of a child who was ill-looking and poorly clothed was used to help solicit donations. In a "helped child" appeal, a picture of a healthy-looking, child was presented. A third type of appeal presented both a "needy" and a "helped" child, in order to demonstrate that donations could actually help the needy child to a better life. In a final control appeal, no pictures were used. Results indicated that the "helped child" appeal, was most effective in eliciting interest from potential donors; the "needy child" appeal proved least effective. These results were discussed in relation to research on reactance theory, the "just world" hypothesis and interpersonal attraction.
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