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The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Donations to Corporate-Supported Nonprofits

Donald R. Lichtenstein, Minette E. Drumwright and Bridgette M. Braig
Journal of Marketing
Vol. 68, No. 4 (Oct., 2004), pp. 16-32
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30162013
Page Count: 17
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The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Donations to Corporate-Supported Nonprofits
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Abstract

Both theory and recent research evidence suggest that a corporation's socially responsible behavior can positively affect consumers' attitudes toward the corporation. The effect occurs both directly and indirectly through the behavior's effect on customer-corporation identification. The authors report the results of four studies designed to replicate and extend these findings. Using a field survey design, Study 1 provides evidence that perceived corporate social responsibility affects not only customer purchase behavior through customer-corporate identification but also customer donations to corporate-supported nonprofit organizations. Using experimental designs, Studies 2 and 3 replicate and extend the Study 1 findings by providing additional evidence for the mediating role of customer-corporate identification on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and customer donations. However, the combined results of Studies 2 and 3 also show that because of a "perceived opportunity to do good" by supporting a company that is changing its ways, consumers are more likely to donate to a corporate-supported nonprofit when the corporation has a weaker historical record of socially responsible behavior. Finally, Study 4 tests the relationship between the nonprofit domain and the domain of the corporation's socially responsible behavior as a boundary condition for this effect.

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