Leadership Institute

How more donation options with a lower initial ask affects recurring donations

Experiment ID: #21354

Leadership Institute

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 9/20/2019 - 11/10/2019

Leadership Institute had successfully run an experiment on their main donation page that did not affect conversion, but increased the number of recurring gifts that the organization received through a tabbed “onetime/monthly” donation form. However, they wanted to see if they could make a change to encourage more recurring gifts. Their current “monthly” tab had a gift array of “$15/$20/$25”, which did not give much room for variation. If the donor did not want to give something within that $10 range, then they had to come up with their own amount. They created a 5-option variant that had a lower initial amount ($10) and a much higher $50 option. They split traffic evenly to monitor conversion rate and the distribution of one-time and recurring gifts.

Research Question

How will a lower entry point and expanded gift array affect recurring donor conversion?


C: Control
T1: 5-option test


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: 6.3%
T1: 5-option test 14.3% 125.5% 99.5%

This experiment has a required sample size of 113 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 445, 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
× 125.5% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The new 5-option array increased recurring donations by 125.5%. This was such a big swing that overall conversion was increased by 44%—which meant that more donors gave as a whole. In examining the average gift, it appeared that the expanded options didn’t affect average recurring gift size at all, which meant that the $10 entry point had a significant psychological effect that made more people say yes, but not necessarily to the lower price point. One-time gifts were not affected at all.

This is an interesting experiment, as it shows how suggested amounts help donors make decisions—especially long-term ones like recurring giving.

Experiment Documented by Jeff Giddens
Jeff Giddens is President of NextAfter.

Question about experiment #6418

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