Prosocial lending in online crowdfunding has flourished in recent years, and it has become a new way to fundraise for philanthropy. However, there is almost a 70% user attrition rate in crowdfunding. The purpose of this study is to understand what the lender’s lending experience and social connection influence lender retention of online prosocial lending from a self-determination perspective.
Drawing on self-determination theory (SDT), this research utilizes a quantifiable method for factors of the lender's lending experience and social connection. Additionally, the research constructs economic models to explore the impacts of these factors acting as the necessary conditions for basic psychological needs on lender retention, using a large-scale sample of over 380,000 lenders from Kiva.
The results indicate that, from the lender's lending experience aspect, the loan narratives with more profit language in the last lending and the failure of past participation are negatively related to lender retention. Regarding the lender's social connection aspect, their friends or small lending teams are positively related to lender retention, while whether they are invited and lending team size show negative influence. Furthermore, results indicate the moderating effects of the disclosure of lending motivation.
This research explores the mechanism of lender retention of online prosocial lending, providing a self-determination perspective about how previous experience influences long-term lending behavior. The study offers significant implications for the literature on online philanthropy, SDT and user retention of online platforms. At the same time, the study provides an understanding of the effects of different aspects of SDT.
The study is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71722005 and 72101176 and 71790594 and 71790590) and the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin City (No. 18JCJQJC45900).
Zhang, X., Cheng, Y., Liu, J., Zhao, H., Xu, D. and Li, Y. (2022), "Lender retention of online prosocial lending: a self-determination perspective", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-07-2021-0527
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