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Football clubs and philanthropy: An empirical analysis of volunteering, match quality, and donations.

Using data collected by means of an online questionnaire of German football-club volunteers, we studied whether match quality helps to predict philanthropy as measured in terms of donations. Match quality is defined as the congruence of a volunteer’s motives for volunteering with his or her utility experiences and can thus be expected to foster the production of volunteer satisfaction and eventually social capital. Social capital has a bonding and a bridging component. The former should predict donations to a volunteer’s own football club, while the latter should predict donations to other charitable and non-profit organizations. Our empirical results lend some support to the hypothesis that a high match quality makes it more likely for a volunteer to donate to his or her own football club. The propensity of donations to other organizations decreases when match quality increases. We use social identity theory and the economics of identity to sketch elements of a theory that links match quality, social identity, social capital, and donations.