Purpose: This study aims to present a typology of Facebook followers of charities, drawing on theories of value co-creation, impression management and conspicuous donation behavior.
Design/methodology/approach: Data from 234 students based in an Irish University and 296 adults in the USA were subjected to cluster analysis.
Findings: Four segments were identified, common to both samples. Quiet donors are less likely to engage with a charity on Facebook, yet they may donate to the charity. They follow a charity if it offers intrinsic meaning, and they quietly donate money. Facebook expressives mention charities on Facebook to impress others, but have low intention to donate. Following the charity on Facebook is a means to virtue signal, but it helps to spread word of mouth. Friendly donors are active on social media and engage with charities on Facebook when there is personal meaning, and they will donate. Following the charity offers them intrinsic value, and their Facebook mentions promote the charity online. Finally, dirty altruists are motivated by a desire to help, but also to impress others. They will donate, but they will ensure to highlight their good deed on Facebook, to virtue signal.
Originality/value: The study contributes to the literature investigating individuals motivations to connect with charities through social media and suggests value co-created by types of charity followers on Facebook.