Leadership Institute

How asking for less than a donor’s highest gift impacted donor conversion rate

Experiment ID: #85594

Leadership Institute

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 02/11/2022 - 02/18/2022

As a part of a February matching gift campaign, the Leadership Institute wanted to experiment with whether asking a donor for less than their highest gift would impact overall donor conversion rate and revenue.

Research Question

We believe that asking for less than a donor’s highest gift for donors will achieve actually increase donor conversion rate.


C: Control
T1: Treatment #1


  Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Control 0.02%
T1: Treatment #1 0.10% 367.6% 99.2%

This experiment has a required sample size of 7,637 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 28,404, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 367.6% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

When personalizing the ask amount, and setting it at a lower value than the donor’s highest gift amount, we observed that the donor conversion rate increased by +367.6% (with a confidence level of 99.2%).

Overall, we also observed a +640.5% increase in revenue (with a level of confidence of 97.7%), although we did not validate that study due to only having achieved about half of the samples we would normally need on a revenue lift study.

One final question we wanted to answer was: How did the actual gift the donor make compare to the amount they were asked for?

In reviewing the treatment segment, we observed the following outcomes:

  • 43% of the gifts and 60% of the revenue came from people who gave more than the amount we asked for in the treatment segment.
  • 50% of the gifts and 36% of the revenue came from people who gave exactly what we asked for.
  • 7% of the gifts and 4% of the revenue came from people who gave less than the amount we asked for in the treatment segment.

Meanwhile, all of the gifts secured in the “control” segment actually gave less than what was asked for.

This incredibly effective, yet simple approach undoubtedly increases donor responses rates — and drives greater revenue from those who respond, as well. It would be good to retest this across a longer span of emails within a campaign to see if it holds up, or if it can be overused, but it certainly appears that this approach can drive both a higher response rate and raise more money overall.

Experiment Documented by Greg Colunga
Greg Colunga is Executive Vice President at NextAfter.

Question about experiment #85594

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.