Creating compassion: how volunteering websites encourage prosocial behaviour

Peter Slattery, Patrick Finnegan, Richard Vidgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Organisations increasingly use websites to promote prosocial behaviour such as volunteering, philanthropy, and activism. However, these websites often fail to encourage prosocial behaviours effectively. To address the lack of relevant research, we develop, then refine, a design model that identifies the user experience factors that create intention to engage in prosocial behaviour on websites. We test an initial model developed from the literature, by interviewing forty participants, each of whom visited and compared six volunteering websites. Our analysis of the participants’ user experience reveals eighteen elements that interplay to create intention to engage in prosocial behaviour. Our refined design model comprises ten website features (interaction, factual, anecdata, external recognition, organisational expression, value suggestion, explanatory content, visual media, written media and, website design), seven perceptions (ease of use, aesthetics, information quality, trust, negative affect, positive affect, and argument strength), and one motivation (egoism). These findings provide novel insights into how to design Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to encourage prosocial behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-76
Number of pages20
JournalInformation and Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Design research
  • Persuasion
  • Philanthropy
  • Prosocial behaviour
  • Volunteering
  • Website design

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