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Anthony STRITTMATER (CREST) – "Efficient Targeting in Fundraising"

February 3 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm | Organizers: , François-Pierre Paty, Nicolas Schreuder
The Statistics-Econometrics-Machine Learning Seminar.
Time: 14:00 pm – 15:00 pm
Date: 3rd of February 2021
Place: Online (Click here to join the seminar on Zoom)
Anthony STRITTMATER (CREST) – “Efficient Targeting in Fundraising”
Abstract :
This paper studies efficient targeting in fundraising. In a large-scale field experiment, we randomly provide potential donors with a small unconditional gift. We then use causal machine learning methods to derive the efficient targeting of the fundraising instrument based on socio-economic characteristics, donation history, and geo-spatial information. In the warm list, efficient targeting increases the charity’s profits significantly by 14%, even if the algorithm uses only the publicly available geo-spatial information. In the cold list, efficient targeting does not raise donations sufficiently to justify the additional costs of the fundraising instrument. We conclude that charities which do not efficiently target their fundraising efforts may waste significant resources.