Determinants of Charitable Donations to Large U.S. Higher Education, Hospital, and Scientific Research NPOs: New Evidence from Panel Data

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Abstract

We provide improved evidence on effects that fund-raising, government support, and program revenue of U.S. higher education, hospital, and scientific research nonprofit organizations (NPOs) have on donations to those NPOs and provide improved estimates of price elasticities of donations to, and donor demand for output of, those NPOs. Applying econometric tests, we find the best-specified model is two-way fixed effects, which controls for organization-specific and time-specific factors. Results suggest that U.S. higher education, hospital, and scientific research NPOs fund-raise to the point where the marginal fund-raising dollar brings in zero dollars of donations, donor demand for output of hospitals and scientific research NPOs is price inelastic and price elastic, respectively, and results are not sensitive to specification of price.

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