Rounding up for a cause: The joint effect of donation type and crowding on donation likelihood

Yoo Hee Hwang, Sungwoo Choi, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Prior research demonstrates that consumers are more likely to donate when asked to round up their total bill to the next whole dollar (vs. donate a flat-dollar amount). However, there is scant research demonstrating boundary conditions for the effectiveness of round-up donations. The purpose of this study is to fill this knowledge gap by suggesting crowding level of a service establishment as a boundary condition. Study 1 demonstrates that round-up (vs. flat-dollar) donations decrease perceived pain of donation, thereby increasing donation likelihood. Study 2 shows that round-up (vs. flat-dollar) donations decrease pain of donation in a crowded environment. Conversely, such differences in pain of donation are not observed in a non-crowded environment. The present study contributes to the nascent literature on round-up donations and provides insight to cause-related marketing managers concerning how to design donation messages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102779
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Cause-related marketing
  • Crowding
  • Donation
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Rounding up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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