Year

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Management, Operations and Marketing

Abstract

This study is about individual giving behaviour in Australia, which focuses specifically on the behaviour of individuals from the Baby Boomer Generation, Generation X, Generation Y and the Internet Generation.

The literature reveals that individuals in Australia have been bombarded by an increasing number of requests for donations and are suffering from donation fatigue, and that individuals from different generations perceive this competitive donation request environment differently. To understand this competitive donation request environment, it is appropriate to start with the latest and most complete content model, which is the Giving Behaviour Model proposed in Sargeant and Woodliffe (2007). Therefore, this study extends the Sargeant and Woodliffe’s (2007) content model by incorporating three new constructs to the original model and provides an Australian perspective. The three proposed additions are: (1) Multiple-request Environment and its effect on individuals’ donation motivation and behaviour, (2) Generational Effects on motivation, (3) and the Donation Fatigue Effect.

To address these three constructs, an exploratory study was conducted and 212 individuals were interviewed. It was confirmed that, first, individuals in Australia have been bombarded by an increasing number of ever changing requests for donations and for this reason they are experiencing a Dynamic Multiple-request Environment. Second, individuals in Australia from the Baby Boomer Generation, Generation X, Generation Y and Internet Generation have different perceptions of the current Australian giving environment and therefore behave differently. Generation Y members are impulsive donors and they tend to donate for self-interest reasons, where they seek some tangible or emotional benefit from their giving encounter such as “helper’s high”, and they also like to be approached by social network media and websites. Baby Boomers, for instance, tend to donate because of Familial Utility, where their support is mostly related to friends or family members and NPOS from the health related field of activity.

Third, individuals in Australia are suffering from Request Fatigue and not from Donation Fatigue. It was identified that there was no lack of compassion or that individuals are tired of donating, because they are willing to support charities. Individuals in Australia, however, are actually tired of being continuously asked for donation and the way that they are being constantly asked for money.

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