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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a U-shaped relationship exists between the length of time a donor has been a regular member in a nonprofit organization and the amount donated over time. In addition, this research analyzes whether this relationship is moderated by donation frequency.Design/methodology/approachUsing a database of 6,137 members from a collaborating nonprofit organization, a longitudinal study is conducted over an eight-year period (2013–2020). A set of ordinary least square (OLS) regression analyses are carried out to empirically test the proposed hypotheses.FindingsThis study finds a nonlinear, U-shaped relationship between donation amount and relationship length. This effect can be explained through the dynamic evolution of two dimensions of commitment: affective (decreasing over time) and normative (increasing over time). The results also reveal that these effects, however, become flatter for members who engage in more frequent donations.Originality/valueThe results provide novel insights revealing the nonlinear nature of the relationship between the length of time a donor has been a member of a nonprofit organization and the amount donated, and underscores the moderating role of donation frequency, which makes the U-shaped relationship flatter, thus increasing the amounts donated. Despite their relevance in the service ecosystem, nonprofits have been under-represented in prior work. This study offers important practical insights into the effective management of the regular donor portfolio.
Journal of Service Theory and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 19, 2022
Keywords: Regular members; Organizational commitment; Relationship length; Donation amount; Donation frequency
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