No Deadlines Key to Charity Success: MGSM

16-Aug-2016 8:55 AM

SYDNEY--()--New economics research from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management says charities that impose long deadlines on donations will be less successful than those that don’t.


The study by Professor Maroš Servátka and his University of Otago co-authors Associate Professor Stephen Knowles and Lecturer Trudy Sullivan looked at the impact of imposing deadlines on charitable tasks, and found that having no deadline or a short deadline increased the likelihood that participants would respond quickly. A long deadline – a month in this case – reduced the response rate significantly.

“Having a long deadline implies to people that the task isn’t urgent, and they will procrastinate and ultimately forget,” Professor Servátka, who also directs the MGSM Experimental Economics Laboratory, said. “In theory it would make sense that no deadline – which is an infinitely long deadline – would be seen the same way, but that’s not the result we got. We infer that no deadline is actually interpreted as urgency, as the bulk of ‘no deadline’ responses were received within a week, and more responses in the first three days than the ‘one month group’. This has policy implications not just for charities, but for organisations conducting surveys of all kinds.”

The biggest disparity in the study was between the sexes, with women almost twice as likely than men to respond. Both genders followed the same response timing patterns, indicating participants viewed deadlines or lack thereof the same way regardless of gender.

The field experiment was conducted on a representative sample of New Zealand population. It involved 3,276 participants, half men and half women, randomly selected from the New Zealand electoral roll. Participants were sent a letter inviting them to take part in a 5-minute online survey on charitable giving. Participants were informed that if they completed the survey the researchers would donate $10 to their choice of World Vision or the Salvation Army.

The no deadline group had a response rate of 8.32% vs 5.53% for the ‘one month’ group. Of the ‘one week’ group, 6.3% responded.


for Macquarie Graduate School of Management
Kristin Westlake, 0410 297 111


Topic: Education

Media contact

Lauren Taylor
Account Executive Australia and New Zealand

Tel: 02 9004 7015

About us

With thousands of distribution and targeting options that reach 162 countries in 50+ languages and 193 industry trade categories, Business Wire gives you access to the world's most powerful press release network. Built on our patented simultaneous and secure NX network and augmented with partnerships with international and national news agencies, Business Wire is a valued and trusted source for breaking news by reporters, investors and consumers.

More in Business Wire Australia and New Zealand