The Heritage Foundation

How point-of-donation upgrading affects donor conversion

Experiment ID: #772

The Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 01/13/2015 - 01/23/2015

The standard Heritage appeal uses a donation form with three buttons as the suggested giving amount. No language is usually included explaining how their gift translates into one of the various membership levels.

As part of new member acquisition campaign, Heritage tested a “point-of-donation” upgrade strategy that placed language on the donation form that explained the benefits associated with the level of their current gift selection and the necessary donation amount required to reach the next level.

Research Question

How important are benefits to new members (new donors) as they decide how much to give to the Heritage Foundation?


C: No Membership Language


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidenceAverage Gift
C: No Membership Language 4.8%$52.96
T1: Membership Language on the Form 3.3%-29.9% 100.0%$70.99

This experiment has a required sample size of 1,463 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 9,333, 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
× 29.9% decrease in conversion rate
× 34.0% increase in average gift
6.1% decrease in revenue

Key Learnings

The membership language in the treatment increased the average gift by $18.03 but it caused such a drop in conversion that it actually had a lower total revenue. Future tests may be necessary to understand how specific changes to the point-of-donation language may be able to continue to produce increases in average gift without negatively affecting donation conversion.

Experiment Documented by NextAfter

Question about experiment #772

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