Why are customers charitable? Is there research on the primary motivations for customers buying or participating in a charitable product, company, or non-profit? What behavioral psychology research has been done for understanding customers in the context of CSR, charity-marketing, and non-profits?
Edit Another way to answer the question is what's the value proposition (in general terms) of a charitable organization? What research has been done on this?
There are tons of real research on this. Just do a literature search through psych, business and marketing journals on "charity" or "giving". The amount and vagueness of the question makes answering very difficult, as there's no way to condense the whole body of literature into a single, short OnStartUp answer.
Here are top-level observations I always keep in mind:
That's just touching on the tip of the iceberg. One of the more populist writers is Robert. B. Cialdini.