Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing
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Nonprofit brands vary widely in their positioning to consumers, ranging from crisis and desperation, to joy and optimism.The literature, however, provides limiteddirection for the many nonprofit organizations that seek to align their brand with positive emotions. Herein, we examine the relationship between affective displays (sad vs. happy) portrayed in charitable advertisements and consumer self-construal in shaping consumer generosity.We employ one field study (study 1) and one lab experiment (study 2), using different charitable causes (i.e., Kiva.org[study 1] and a fictitious children’s cancer charity [study 2]) and currencies (i.e., lending money [study 1] and volunteering time [study 2]).Taken together, we find that happy (sad) affective displays are most effective for consumers who hold an independent (interdependent) self-construal,and that this alignment heightens empathy and in turn perceptions of efficacy, which increases generosity. Implications for future research and nonprofit practice are discussed.
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