ESSExLab innovations and new capacities; partnering with experimenters

Within the next 1-2 months ESSExLab (University of Essex, directed by Simone Dietrich and managed by Patrick Lown) will be building several new capacities:

  1. Recruitment: Conducting a large mail/postal recruitment drive (about 5000 letters/emails)  to attract non-student experimental participants in the Colchester area, focusing on lower-income residents.
  2. Omnibus: Paying those who sign up (plus thousands of student subjects) to complete an online ‘Omnibus survey’ including demographic questions, standard measures of economic, psychological, and political preferences, attitudes, and beliefs, as well as a charitable giving component.
  3. Linking: Developing tools (via HRoot) to connect the Omnibus response data to participants’ later experimental data while maintaining participant anonymity and the integrity and independence of each experiment.
  4. Followup Experiment: Two weeks after the Omnibus, we plan to run a follow-up (likely web-based) experiment on the respondents. We are also keen to run ‘normal’ lab experiments (particularly on the nonstudents who completed the survey) to begin building a rich panel data set.  

We are considering the potential to partner with researchers interested in contributing to and collaborating on the followup experiment(s), recognising our capacity is of course limited. The benefits to you as a partner could include:

  • the ability to link your results to the rich omnibus survey data,
  • some co-funding (for the joint experiments),
  • access to a nonstudent subject pool.

Please email me your thoughts if you might be interested or have suggestions for the above, and we can chat.

– David Reinstein (Former ESSExLab Director and collaborator on this project); daaronr at


Seeking partners for charitable-giving trials and innovations

As academics we hope that our research has the potential to go beyond the ivory tower and have an impact on the world, and in turn, we want to learn from real-world practitioners. This has always been important to me, and I have recently been awarded ESRC funding to to pursue and promote this.

In particular, I am seeking to implement fundraising innovations – such as ‘give if you win’  and ‘opt-out social recognition’  – in a variety of contexts, while rigorously testing their efficacy and impact. I am keen to facilitate controlled field experiments as well as less formal trials and pilots. In general I want to exchange knowledge with non-academic professionals, to discuss and learn more about specific fundraising tools, innovations, and impact.

I am looking to partner with:

  • Charities and nonprofit organisations
  • Fundraisers and Professional Fundraising Organisations
  • Payroll Giving organisations
  • Companies and employers interested in CSR and employee giving

For more information, including some specific ideas, links to accesible tools and resources, and a ‘FAQ’ thing, see Charitable Giving: Applying and testing research insights