Charitable Contribution Matching and Effort-Elicitation

Jeremy D. Douthit, Patrick R. Martin, Michelle McAllister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We examine the effect of a charitable contribution matching (CCM) program on employee effort. In CCM programs, employers commit to match employees' donations to charity. We expect CCM to activate a norm of other-regarding behavior, inducing employees to increase effort to benefit their employer. Experimental results robustly support our expectation. We find that CCM increases effort under both fixed-wage and performance-based incentive contracts. Further, our results suggest that CCM is more effective at eliciting effort than alternative uses of firm capital. Specifically, CCM is more effective at eliciting effort than the firm allocating an equivalent amount of capital to either direct firm charitable giving or increased performance-based pay. Our study suggests that CCM has efficient and robust effort-elicitation benefits that increase its value as a compensation tool incremental to any initial employee selection benefits from CCM and any effort benefits from firms' direct charitable giving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-232
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • charitable matching
  • contracting
  • effort
  • motivational crowding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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