The Effect of Matching Contribution Offers and Legitimization of Paltry Contributions On Compliance


1 Address correspondence concerning this article to Cynthia Fraser, College of Business, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506. The authors would like to thank Professor Paul Sauer for insightful comments provided in the formative stages of this research. The authors would also like to thank Professor Robert B. Cialdini and an anonymous JASP reviewer for helpful comments on earlier drafts which provided a great deal of insight.


The use of a matching contribution offer in conjunction with legitimization of paltry contributions is examined in a door-to-door charitable solicitation context. Three hundred and twenty households were exposed to charitable contribution requests employing either legitimization of paltry contributions, a matching contribution offer, both, or a control. It was predicted that the matching funds offer, paired with legitimization of paltry donations, would increase both compliance rates and donation sizes and generate greater revenues than either tactic used singly. The results of a field experiment support this prediction.