Grounded in the 2018 California Camp Fire context, this study explores how message framing in charitable appeals influences individuals’ donation intentions. A 2 (firstperson imagery perspective vs. third-person imagery perspective) × 2 (gain frame vs. loss frame) between-subject online experiment was conducted via Amazon’s MTurk. Results showed that gain/loss framing and imagery perspectives interactively influenced participants’ donation intentions. Specifically, when a message is lossframed, a first-person imagery perspective (“I lose”) message is more effective than a third-person imagery perspective (“they lose”) message in enhancing participants’ perceived issue relevance, induced empathy, and donation intention. In addition, when the message is framed with a third-person imagery perspective, a gain-framed (“they gain”) message is more persuasive than a loss-framed (“they lose”) message.



Author ORCID Identifier

Yuan Wang: 0000-0002-8378-8002

Jiyoun Kim: 0000-0002-9946-6972

Allison Chatham: 0000-0002-1500-371X

Lingyan Ma: 0000-0001-8889-4165