Poisoning the Well: A Donation Request-Fatigue Behaviour Model



Publication Details

Sakakibara, J. Luis., Kyriazis, E. & Algie, J. (2019). Poisoning the Well: A Donation Request-Fatigue Behaviour Model. Third Sector Review, 25 (2), 115-146.


The proliferation of charities and their persistent fundraising techniques has seen potential donors facing a rise in the number of requests for financial support. As a result, charities may be poisoning the well for future donations because of the negative consequences of pushing the friendship too far. It is the purpose of this article to develop a donation request fatigue behaviour model to address this issue. The article draws from psychological reactance theory, 'hierarchy of emotions' theory and exploratory qualitative investigations of how donors feel when saying no to charitable requests. The article finds that donors developed blocking behaviours because they were experiencing negative emotions, and that they reported feeling manipulated, annoyed and frustrated. The implications of the resultant model are discussed, and opportunities for further research delineated.

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