Fundraising Portrayals of People with Disabilities: Donations and Attitudes


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Abstract

The effects of four fundraising appeals on donations and attitudes were compared. One appeal focused on how people with disabilities succumb to their situation, while the second emphasized how people with disabilities cope. These two videotaped appeals displayed the same video but differed in the auditory messages conveyed. The third appeal used the same video simply as a visual presentation without auditory commentary. The fourth appeal solicited monetary contributions without preliminary videotape exposure. The results indicated that subjects exposed to the coping portrayal, as well as those in the no-audio and no-video control groups, expressed more positive attitudes toward people with disabilities than subjects in the succumbing condition. There were no differences between conditions in the amount of money that subjects were willing to donate. Implications of these findings for fundraising appeals and societal action are discussed.

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