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Preparing for Google Optimize’s Sunset: What Nonprofits Should Know

Published by Riley Young

Google Optimize is going away September 30, 2023.

For nonprofit organizations focused on growing their digital fundraising, this news comes as a shock because as we emphasize, the primary way for you to decode what works to inspire more donors to give online is through testing and optimization. 

So, we gathered some insights from a couple of NextAfter staff about what this means for you.

Here’s what NextAfter’s Vice President of Client Services, Rebekah Josefy had to say:

“The sunsetting of Google Optimize was disappointing and unexpected news, considering the number of nonprofits who heavily rely on a free and intuitive tool like this to unlock innovation within their organizations. But we believe the value and learning from testing is worth investing in a platform that allows us to keep uncovering key insights from our audiences through experimenting.

My hope is that the cost does not dissuade the spirit of innovation or become a barrier for nonprofits who want to push the status quo, but need access to low-cost tools. However, testing must remain a priority, and a replacement for Google Optimize that allows the same drive toward finding out what works in fundraising will be a key element for continued program growth across the sector. I trust the true innovators will still find a way to get it done, and we’ll undoubtedly be there to help.”

Kevin Peters, Chief Technology Officer from NextAfter shared some insights on what organizations can do now in preparation for Google Optimize going away:

“Google Optimize has been a key part of our fundraising and optimization efforts for the nonprofits we serve for the last several years. To say that we were disappointed to hear the news that it will be sunset in September 2023 is a dramatic understatement. There are so many reasons to love it…

  1. Easy to use: Google Optimize has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for organizations to conduct A/B tests without needing specialized technical knowledge.
  2. Integration with Google Analytics: Optimize integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics, providing organizations with a comprehensive view of their website performance.
  3. Affordable: Google Optimize is free to use, making it an affordable option for nonprofits with limited budgets (especially for those who have high volumes of website traffic)

Knowing that Google has no plans to replace it means that we need to start making preparations now. While it is not going away until September, the time is nigh to start preparing for it. There are several steps each nonprofit should take.

  1. Evaluate alternative solutions: Start exploring alternative solutions and tools for conducting A/B tests and website optimization. This is something that NextAfter is starting to do ourselves and will publish a free guide once we have finished evaluating the various tools in the space.
  2. Plan for budget: Regardless of the tool you choose, you can be certain that it will no longer be free. You need to set aside budget dollars to ensure there is no drop in functionality on your site. The pricing is dependent on the volume of traffic you get to your website. We are hoping to provide some ranges in our upcoming guide.”

Without Google Optimize at your disposal, the next best option is to pay for expensive enterprise testing tools like Optimizely. But we know that isn’t feasible for most nonprofits. 

So, what’s the path forward? And how do you continue to test your way to digital fundraising growth in a Google-Optimize-less world? Find out in this free webinar.

The Death of Google Optimize and What it Means for your Nonprofit

You can discover how to use testing and optimization to inspire more donors to give, even when Google Optimize goes away in this free webinar presented in partnership with our friends at iDonate.

Watch the webinar
Published by Riley Young

Riley Landenberger is Audience Engagement Manager at NextAfter.