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How clarifying the value proposition led to a 86% increase in donations for CaringBridge

Published by Jeff Giddens

CaringBridge is an incredible non-profit organization with a technology platform that allows loved ones to connect and provide support throughout life’s toughest times. More than 500,000 people connect daily through CaringBridge sites — and more than 200 new sites are created each day.

The Challenge

The majority of CaringBridge donations are made in honor of a loved one, through the tribute donation widget on each CaringBridge site. During their annual holiday campaign, CaringBridge wanted to inspire more people to give by intensifying the force of the value proposition in this donation widget. In addition, the CaringBridge team wanted to clarify the value proposition to make it more clear that the donation went to the organization in honor of the loved one.

The Test

Our teams devised a test that made three slight tweaks to the tribute donation widget. First, we moved personalization to the headline. This way, someone visiting a loved one’s site (in this case, Deborah), would instantly connect the user’s intended action (honoring their loved one) with CaringBridge’s intended action (a donation). Secondly, we clarified the recipient in the brief body copy to help the donor understand that their gift was to CaringBridge — not to their loved one. We also added urgency (“make sure the website…stays up and running”) and relevancy (“this holiday season”). Finally, we clarified the value proposition of the button, to make it clear that the action began a donation process.

 

Control Widget

Control Widget

Treatment Widget

Treatment Widget

 

The Results and Learnings

The increased value proposition resulted in a 19.3% increase in clickthrough rate. We were excited to see this — as it translates into a 19.3% increase in donations as well.

But looking deeper, we discovered that the increase in the force of the value propositions had a much larger effect. On the following page (where the donor makes their gift), the treatment delivered a 51.2% increase in donor conversion! Combined with the increase in clickthrough rate, this means that the test delivered an 81% increase in overall revenue. Fantastic!

But there was one more element affected by the treatment — refund rate. With the control, there was confusion around the recipient of the gift. In the treatment, we clarified the recipient in the body copy. As a result, there was a 53.9% decrease in refunds, which meant this single test delivered a cumulative 86% lift in revenue to CaringBridge.

The value proposition is powerful — in fact, every action hinges on it in some way. Increasing the force of the value proposition can cause more donors to give, and cause those who give to give more. To learn more about increasing the force of your value proposition, watch this interview.

About the author:

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Jeff Giddens

Jeff was the 1994 Georgia State Spelling Bee champion.