Using Latent Class Analysis to Explain Donor Behavior

Jay Goodliffe (Brigham Young University)

*Award for Best Faculty Poster*

Abstract: Why do citizens start donating to campaigns? Why do donors stop donating? Using latent class analysis and latent profile analysis, I classify donors (and non-donors) into different types according to their donation behavior (which campaigns and how many campaigns they donate to) and how much they donate. I then use latent transition analysis to I analyze when donors move from one donor type to another type: for example, when a presidential donor starts donating to congressional campaigns, or when a party donor stops donating altogether. Using a panel survey of US citizens, I examine the characteristics and motivations of new donors, continuing donors, and lapsed donors. As campaigns mobilize more donors through social media and tools like ActBlue, I assess the probable change in the population of donors and how it will affect candidates, parties, and political organizations.

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