The use of social media for a better world: roles of social experience, empathy and personal impulsiveness in charitable crowdfunding

Boying Li, Fangfang Hou, Zhengzhi Guan, Alain Yee Loong Chong

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Charitable crowdfunding features are embedded in social media platforms to encourage pro-social behaviors. Although such new practice allows practitioners to leverage the power of a highly connected crowd, accomplishing the fundraising goal is still a challenge. This study seeks to understand what drives the donation intention in charitable crowdfunding features on social media platforms by examining the roles of social experience, empathy and personal impulsiveness. Design/methodology/approach: A survey questionnaire was distributed to social media users in China to collect data. A total of 206 valid responses were analyzed using structural equation modeling to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings: The results showed that empathy mediates interaction with the fundraiser and perceived proximity with the donatee on a user's donation intention. We also found that social influence on social media platforms positively influences empathy and donation intention. In addition, personal impulsiveness was found to moderate the relationship between empathy and donation intention. Originality/value: This study contributes to existing literature and practices. It identifies three dimensions of social experience and examines their effects on donation intention, providing insights into the charitable crowdfunding features on social media. Moreover, this study extends the understanding to empathy by delineating its mediating role in the relationship between social experience and donation intention and examining how personal impulsiveness moderates the effect of empathy on donation intention. Furthermore, this study provides valuable insights for practitioners to craft strategies to stimulate pro-social behaviors and increase donations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2587-2610
Number of pages24
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023


  • Charitable crowdfunding
  • Donation intention
  • Empathy
  • Personal impulsiveness
  • Social experience
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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