Purpose: The purpose of this paper is show how altruism provides a basis for understanding motivations that consumers may possess, especially as it relates to their response to buy-national marketing campaigns. The paper aims to report research that examines traditional measures of altruism to determine whether there are differing or additional dimensions of altruism. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a survey of 212 consumers and their responses to previously validated altruism scales. These scales were factor-analyzed to identify new dimensions of altruism. Findings: Eight dimensions of altruism are empirically identified and are demonstrated to be different by demographic groupings and their responses to altruism-based marketing programs. Originality/value: Patterns of altruistic behavior can enable marketers to estimate the relative size and behavioral patterns of altruism-based market segments. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.