Journal Article

How to Attract Donations: The Case of US NGOs in International Development


  • Nunnenkamp
  • P.
  • Öhler
  • H.
Publication Date

We assess the determinants of private donations across a large sample of US based NGOs with foreign aid activities. Our results show that donations do not depend on publicly available information on NGO characteristics that reveal an efficient and targeted use of funds, notably the efficiency price of NGO aid and the degree of specialisation. Private donors rather rely on the frequently offered option to designate donations to preferred purposes – even though this is unlikely to tie the NGOs’ hands.


JEL Classification
L31, F35, D80

Key Words

  • efficiency price
  • nongovernmental organisations
  • option to designate
  • private donations
  • specialisation