Antecedents of Donor Trust in an Emerging Charity Sector: the Role of Reputation, Familliarity, Opportunism and Communication



This research aims at explaining the donors’ trust in the charity organizations within the context of an emerging charity sector. Such knowledge would help these organizations influence donor trust and participation. Four key factors were identified and used to propose a model of donor trust: organization’s reputation, donor’s familiarity with the charity sector, donor’s perception of the organization’s opportunism and donor’s perception of the organization’s communication effectiveness. The model is tested in an emerging charity sector in a Latin American country, Chile. Three factors have a direct effect on donor trust, whereas one factor, communication effectiveness, has only an indirect effect through its influence on the organization’s reputation and donor’s familiarity with the sector. While organization’s reputation and donor’s familiarity with the sector influence donor trust positively, perceived opportunism impacts upon it negatively. The comprehensive and, at the same time, parsimonious donor-trust model that is contributed in this study helps explain how donor trust is generated, kept and enhanced.

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