Celebrity Endorsement for Nonprofit Organizations: The Role of Experience-based Fit between Celebrity and Cause

  •  Sun-Young Park    


Although using celebrities to raise awareness and funds for social causes is a popular technique these days, little research has offered a theoretical explanation for the effects of a celebrity’s personal values on socially oriented communications. This paper, therefore, aims to investigate the role of celebrity experience with a cause, as well as the celebrity endorser’s association with the not-for-profit organizations, in determining the effectiveness of the celebrity’s endorsement of the cause. Results reveal that a celebrity’s personal experience with the endorsed cause positively influences consumers’ perceived congruence between the celebrity and the cause, attributions of the celebrity altruistic motives for the endorsement, perceptions of the celebrity credibility, and attitudes toward the celebrity and the nonprofit organization. Additionally, a celebrity associated with an organization as a founder compared to a spokesperson appears to yield more favorable perceptions of celebrity credibility and attitudes toward the celebrity and the organization. Finally, interesting interaction effects between the celebrity-cause fit and the celebrity’s association with the nonprofit organization emerged. Findings of the present study provide insights into the potential benefits and liabilities of using a celebrity to promote a social cause in the nonprofit sector.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.