Date of Award

December 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Management Science

First Advisor

Laura Peracchio

Committee Members

Amit Bhatnagar, Sanjoy Ghose, Janice Miller, Xiaojing Yang


Advertising, Charity, Charity Appeals, Donation, Nonprofit Marketing, Social Media


Despite the sizable donations and the variety of views to research an individual's charitable motivations, the individual's charitable giving has remained somewhat stagnant. Ever since the economic crisis of 2008, contributions to charities have decreased. Therefore, garnering donations is a significant challenge for charitable organizations. Moreover, for individuals who have decided to make voluntary contributions, determining which of the over 800,000 nonprofit organizations to contribute to can be a challenging task, as well. The question of how nonprofit organizations should foster awareness and receive donations is of critical importance, yet the answer is not quite clear. In the current fierce competition with other charities, a charity must rely on an effective promotional strategy to present itself and its services to prospective donors. Unfortunately, marketing literature, which is rich in research and theories about promoting for-profit products and services, provides little guidance to nonprofit organizations on how to promote helping. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to investigate when and how charitable appeals could be effective in the context of a nonprofit organization's website and social media based on similarity based persuasion (Essay 1) and self-presentation theory (Essay 2).

Included in

Marketing Commons