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Survey Methodology

center on wealth and philanthropy

"Comparisons Between Gallup / IS and Boston Area Diary Study Data: Report of Findings."
John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish. Social Welfare Research Institute, Boston College, Mar. 31, 1997.
This report documents the results of comparisons between data on giving, volunteering, and income collected by the Gallup Organization for the Independent Sector and corresponding data for the same respondents collected by the "Boston Area Diary Study" (BADS). In general we find that there are major differences between amounts of time volunteered, money and goods contributed, and family income reported to Gallup as compared with the same information reported to "BADS" by the same respondents.

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"A Methodological Test of Giving: Using Indiana as a Test Case."
Patrick Rooney, Kathryn Steinberg and Paul G. Schervish. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 3, Sept. 2001, pp.551-568.
In the most recent phase of the telephone survey of giving and volunteering conducted every 4 years, "Indiana Gives," eight groups of approximately 100 randomly selected Indiana residents were asked to complete one of eight surveys related to giving and volunteering. It was found that the longer the module and the more detailed its prompts, the more likely a household was to recall making any charitable contribution and the higher the average level of its giving.

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"Methodology is Destiny: The Effect of Survey Prompts on Reported Levels of Giving and Volunteering."
Paul G. Schervish, Patrick Rooney, and Kathryn Steinberg. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 4, p, December 2004 pp. 628-654.
In a random telephone survey, five groups of at least 800 people responded to several different surveys related to the amount of time and money they had given in the last year. This study found that those respondents who were given the longer and more detailed surveys were likely to remember more of their charitable contributions than those presented with less detailed surveys.

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"The Methods and Metrics of the Boston Area Diary Study."
John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 30, no.3, Sept. 2001, pp. 527-550.
In this paper we discuss the conceptual framework, methods, and findings of BADS in order to provide insights into the problems and prospects of survey research on philanthropy. We hope that the lessons we have learned may both provide knowledge on the fabric of care in our society, as well as suggest theoretical and practical implications for others conducting survey research in this field.

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"Our Daily Bread: Findings from the First Diary Study on Giving and Receiving Care."
John J. Havens and Paul G. Schervish. Research report on the findings from interviews three to four times a month for a year with Boston area residents concerning their patterns of giving and receiving financial and in-kind assistance, volunteer time, and emotional support. July 1997.