Date of Award

December 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

Xiaoxia Cao

Committee Members

David Allen, Christopher Terry


Conspicuous Donation, Prosocial Behavior, Self-Construals, Social Media Marketing


The arduous financial environments that nonprofit organizations face today motivate nonprofits to continuously search and leverage new communication platforms such as social media to approach a wider individual donor base. This thesis examines whether a Facebook charitable appeal promoting a donation via Facebook Gifts may attract

Facebook users to give for conspicuousness (a public display of a donation behavior). Findings of this thesis revealed a gender difference in responses to the Facebook charitable appeal due to the gender difference in self-construals such that men were more likely to give via Facebook Gifts when the ad promoting the donation via Facebook Gifts

signaled a lower level of popularity (with fewer "Likes") whereas women tended to give via Facebook Gifts when the ad signaled a higher level of popularity (with more "Likes"). This thesis has theoretical contributions to existing literature on self-construals and prosocial behavior as well as significant practical implications for nonprofits to design compelling, effective charitable appeals to attract male and female social media users respectively.