Customers and compassion fatigue in corporate philanthropy

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper


It investigates whether customer voting reflects a tendency, across monthly contests, to favour less and less those issues that repeatedly appear. For example, are customers less willing to vote for a homelessness charity if homelessness charities have often appeared in recent, previous in-store contests in that location? We find evidence of such compassion fatigue. Moreover, we identify its dynamics, such that fatigue arises from repeated appearances of an issue over a sufficiently large number of months (i.e. arising in only the previous month is not enough for fatigue to set in), but not across too long a period of time (i.e. if an issue repeatedly appeared a year ago, that is too distant a memory to induce fatigue). We draw out implications for corporate philanthropy and charity fund-raising.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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