The stories told by charitable organizations are typically designed to take the consumer through different emotional stages. This research probes the view that following exposure to the inciting incident or problem statement in the appeal for a particular charity, the consumer feels negative emotions. These feelings convert into anticipated positive emotions when the consumer is given the opportunity to help the person in need through a donation. Feedback that donors receive from the charitable organization will help to strengthen the emotional pay-off and enhances future donation intentions. The research utilizes an experimental design and data from 319 undergraduate students in a large U.S. university to confirm these hypotheses. Theoretical and managerial implications are then presented. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.
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