How to turn lurkers into donors? A study of online social support interactions between nonprofit organizations and their followers

Cheng Hong, Cong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increasing number of nonprofits are interacting with their current and prospective donors on social media. How to elicit donations effectively through social media, however, remains under-researched. This study applied the optimal matching theory to examine online interactions between nonprofit organizations and their followers. A 2 (valence of organizational post: positive vs. negative) × 2 (type of social support: emotional vs. informational) between-subjects experiment was conducted to investigate how the match between a nonprofit organization’s need and its followers’ social support impacts third-party observers’ perceived relationship satisfaction and donation intention. The mediation effect of enacted social support evaluation (i.e., perceived helpfulness, supportiveness, and sensitiveness) was also examined. It was found that organizational post valence exerted an indirect effect on third-party observers’ perceived relationship satisfaction and donation intention through perceived supportiveness and helpfulness. These mediation effects were conditional on the type of social support provided by online followers of the organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-547
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Keywords

  • Donation
  • Nonprofit
  • Online fundraising
  • Optimal matching theory
  • Social media
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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