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Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen (12. May 2022): Personalized Fundraising: A Field Experiment on Threshold Matching of Donations. Collaborative Research Center Transregio 190, Discussion Paper No. 328


We study a form of threshold matching in fundraising where donations above a certain threshold are topped up with a fixed amount. We show theoretically that threshold matching can induce crowding in if appropriately personalized. In a field experiment, we explore how thresholds should be chosen depending on past donations. The optimal choice of thresholds is rather bold, approximately 75% above past donations. Additionally, we explore how thresholds should be set for new donors as a function of their personal characteristics and demonstrate the benefits of personalization as opposed to setting a general threshold that applies to all recipients of a fundraising call.