Factors Affecting Donations in U.S. Retail Stores: A Conceptual Framework

Executive Summary

The study identifies factors which influence consumer donations in U.S. retail stores, based on a review of cause marketing, consumer behavior and psychology literature. These factors are categorized as:

  • Consumer-related factors, including: consumer-retailer identification, consumer-cause affinity, impure altruism, civic engagement and post-purchase cognitive dissonance.
  • Retailer-related factors, including: retailer-cause fit, retailer’s commitment to the cause, retailer image as being altruistic, and retailer credibility.
  • Context-related factors, including: time pressure, social pressure, shopping amount, and perceived savings during the shopping trip.

Based on the literature review, the study’s author proposes that willingness to donate at a retail checkout counter increases:

  • the more that the consumer identifies with the retailer
  • the higher the consumer-cause affinity
  • the stronger the consumer’s egoistic motives
  • the higher the consumer’s civic engagement
  • the higher the retailer-cause fit
  • the higher the retailer’s commitment to the cause
  • the more conflicted a consumer feels about a purchase
  • the higher the retailer’s perceived credibility
  • the more the retailer’s image is perceived as altruistic
  • the greater the time pressure
  • the higher the visibility of social influence
  • as the ratio of donation amount to purchase amount gets smaller
  • as the perceived savings during the shopping trip increases
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Publication Date



Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services


Selen Savas

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