Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Volume 18 Issue 2 (March 2019), Pages 75-176

Donation to charity and purchase of cause‐related products: The influence of existential guilt and experience (pages 89-96)

Abstract Charity donation is an important prosocial behaviour that is often generated/strengthened by emotional stimuli from advertising. A similar strategy is often used to trigger the purchase of cause‐related products. The two activities represent direct and indirect methods of financial support and are important topics for researchers and practitioners. Charity donation and purchase of cause‐related products are typically investigated on the basis of different theoretical backgrounds; therefore, they are almost never directly compared with each other. However, the two share some similarities from the perspectives of the donor/buyer and the donation recipient. This article aims to analyse how direct and indirect donation behaviours are influenced by the same emotional stimulus (existential guilt generated by a visual advertisement). In parallel, this article examines the possible moderation effect of similar past behaviours. The study is performed by surveying 374 respondents in Lithuania. Results confirmed that the same emotion (existential guilt) had a direct positive impact on the intention towards both studied behaviours. However, the moderation effect of experience was observed only in the relationship between existential guilt and the intention to donate to charity, signalling the difference in its influence on the two behaviours. These findings enrich the knowledge of the similarities and differences between direct (donating to charity) and indirect (purchasing cause‐related products) donation behaviours. Additionally, it fills in the knowledge gap regarding the relation between the intentions of prosocial behaviours and existential guilt as an advertising appeal.

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