The effects of social information on volunteering: a field experiment
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
SAGE Publications for Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by SAGE Publications. No embargo required on publication
: Research indicates that providing social information about other people’s charitable donations can increase individual contributions. However, the effects of social information on volunteering time are underexplored. In this field experiment we measure the effects of different levels of feedback about other people’s time contributions (very high, high and moderate) on individuals’ hours of volunteering. The experiment was conducted with students from English universities volunteering for a variety of organizations and with a group of predominantly older people volunteering for a national charity in England. Social information did not increase volunteering for either group relative to a control group receiving individualised feedback with no social comparison. For students whose baseline volunteering time was lower than the median, social information had a demotivating effect, reducing their volunteering, suggesting that donating time is different to donating money.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
Awaiting citation and DOI