TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF EFFORTFUL FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCES: USING INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS IN FUNDRAISING RESEARCH
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Physical-activity oriented community fundraising has experienced an exponential growth in popularity over the past 15 years. The aim of this study was to explore the value of effortful fundraising experiences, from the point of view of participants, and explore the impact that these experiences have on people’s lives. This study used an IPA approach to interview 23 individuals, recognising the role of participants as proxy (nonprofessional) fundraisers for charitable organisations, and the unique organisation donor dynamic that this creates. It also bought together relevant psychological theory related to physical activity fundraising experiences (through a narrative literature review) and used primary interview data to substantiate these. Effortful fundraising experiences are examined in detail to understand their significance to participants, and how such experiences influence their connection with a charity or cause. This was done with an idiographic focus at first, before examining convergences and divergences across the sample. This study found that effortful fundraising experiences can have a profound positive impact upon community fundraisers in both the short and the long term. Additionally, it found that these experiences can be opportunities for charitable organisations to create lasting meaningful relationships with participants, and foster mutually beneficial lifetime relationships with them. Further research is needed to test specific psychological theory in this context, including self-esteem theory, self determination theory, and the martyrdom effect (among others).
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