‘Impact of Rating Charities’ study on Prolific

As a background we are exploring ways to increase the rate of effective giving via the Prolific Academic platform, and the potential for running relevant experiments into giving, piggybacking on the thousands of Prolific surveys run each month.

At the end of this survey we add an experimental element allowing people to make donations and allocate money among charities under several treatment conditions, including to GiveDirectly. We aim to test whether the act of ranking and rating charities according to their effectiveness increases donations and increases the rate of donating to an effective charity.  We are also piloting a ‘timing’ treatment aiming to test whether the effect of ranking on donation choice is mediated by emotions or rational calculus.

We are testing whether the act of rating and ranking increases donations to the effective charities.

Key treatments

All participants are asked to read sections (largely from givewell.org) about the work and effectiveness of the Against Malaria Foundation and GiveDirectly (order randomized).  Next, they are asked “Please provide, for both charities, a one sentence summary of their work.”

Treatment variation:

  • After this, the Rating-Treatment participants (a random 50%) are given 30 seconds each to answer the following questions about AMF and GD (the Control participants skip this)
    • Please rate how much positive impact you think these two charities have:  (0=no impact at all, 10=great impact)”
    • “Which of these charities do you believe provides a greater positive impact per pound donated?”

Outcome measures

  • All are then told “We are giving away an additional bonus prize of £10 by random draw. You have a 1 in 20 chance of winning this prize! You now have the opportunity to commit to donate some, none, or all of this prize (if you win it) among the charities below. If you win this £10 prize and you chose to donate, your donation(s) will be automatically deducted from this prize and passed on to this charity(s). We will add an additional 25% from our own funds to whatever you donate.
  • … and must divide up the £10, with numbers adding to £10

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