Donors’ social class and their prosocial reputation: Perceived authentic motivation as an underlying mechanism.

Donors’ social class may provide cues for others to judge their underlying motives and prosociality. We test whether donors’ social class affects their prosocial reputation through perceived authentic motivation. Across four studies, we find that low-class donors are perceived as more authentically motivated to care about others’ welfare, and thus gain more prosocial reputation as a benevolent person, compared to high-class donors. Moreover, prosocial impact salience moderates this effect: When donation is equal in the percentage of donors’ annual income, making the prosocial impact of donors’ contribution salient enhances high-class donors’ perceived authentic motivation and prosocial reputation to the same levels as those of low-class donors. These findings provide important insights into how to design efficient fundraising events or platforms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)