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Branding for non-profits

Purpose
The purpose of this study develops and validates a model of new donor decision-making in the charity sector. Drawing upon dual process theory, the model incorporates brand salience and brand attitude as antecedents of brand choice intention, moderated by donor decision involvement.

Design/methodology/approach
Study 1 generates measures using interviews with marketing, media and research managers, and new donors from two international aid and relief organizations. Study 2 uses an experimental design to first test scenarios of disaster relief, and then validate and confirm a new donor decision model using large-scale consumer panels for the international aid and relief sector in Australia.

Findings
The results replicated across four leading international aid-related charities reveal that brand salience is positively related to brand choice intention through the mediating effect of brand attitude. Furthermore, the effect of brand salience on brand choice intention is significantly stronger when donor decision involvement is low. Conversely, the effect of brand attitude on brand choice intention is stronger for higher levels of donor decision involvement.

Practical implications
Managers should understand the importance of brand salience/attitudes and the implications for the communication strategy. Managers should also strive to understand the level of decision involvement and the relative influence of brand attitude/salience on brand choice intention.

Originality/value
This study advances the literature on charitable giving by proposing and testing a moderated mediation model of donor choice when selecting a charity for donation. Findings provide new insights into the extent to which brand salience, brand attitude and donor decision-making influence how new donors choose between charities for donation.

Download PDF: Branding for non-profits

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