The Brand Personality of Nonprofit Organizations and the Influence of Monetary Incentives

Edlira Shehu, Jan U. Becker, Ann-Christin Langmaack, Michel Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The brand personality of nonprofit service organizations (NPO) is a focal cue for individuals engaging in pro-social behavior. However, the positive effect of brand personality on donors’ intention to engage pro-socially may be affected in cases in which NPOs provide monetary incentives to those donors. Relying on social exchange theory, the authors examine how monetary incentives and brand personality commonly affect the intention to donate and whether this effect varies based on the perceived trustworthiness of the NPO. The results of two experimental studies show that branding and incentivizing decisions should not be developed independently because monetary incentives do indeed undermine the positive effects of brand personality on the intention to donate. However, the effectiveness of incentives varies with the perceived level of trust in the NPO: highly trusted NPO services are harmed by monetary incentives, whereas less-trusted NPOs may even benefit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)589–600
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Social exchange theory
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Blood donation
  • Monetary incentives

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