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Fewer Facebook Friends Fuels Fundraising

Many people believe that the more friends they have, the more people who will donate to their charitable cause. However, new research shows that may not be the case, at least with Facebook.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that economic researchers in an analysis of more than 35,000 fundraising pages set up by people who rode bikes, ran marathons, and participated in other activities to raise money for charity, shows the most important reason people give is a personal connection to the fundraiser.

A study soon to be released in the Journal of Public Economics suggests “as the size of a fundraiser’s social network grows, potential donors feel less desire to help the fundraiser and make, on average, smaller donations. For example, the average donation to a person with 252 friends was 10 percent lower than donations to a person with 77 friends. When the number of friends increased to 654, the average size of each donor’s gift dropped 20 percent.”

Additionally, “relational altruism,” also plays a role. The researchers believe that the smaller the fundraiser’s social group, the more connected the individual feels to the fundraiser, and the more generous the donor will be.

For more information, please see “Facebook Fundraising Works Better With Fewer Friends” on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.

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