Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236


In research investigating the effectiveness of letters from charitable organizations recruiting donors and volunteers, otherbenefit appeals (focusing on the benefits for others) have been compared to self-benefit appeals (focusing on the benefits for the reader). Because the benefits presented in the two types of appeal were generally dissimilar in earlier research, the current study used similar benefits for the two appeals. In addition, the inclusion of exemplars underlined the similarity in benefits. This inclusion also made it possible to compare the effectiveness of letters with and without exemplars. The experiment had a 2 (appeal: other-benefit, self-benefit) x 2 (exemplar: absent, present) between-subjects design (N = 120). Effectiveness, liking, vividness and comprehensibility of the letter were assessed. The results showed that the otherbenefit appeal was more effective than the self-benefit appeal in recruiting volunteers. Although not more effective than letters without an exemplar, letters with an exemplar were better liked. This effect on liking was fully mediated by the perceived vividness and the comprehensibility of the letter.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): charity; exemplar; otherbenefit; persuasion; self-benefit
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