Will asking people to pray before asking them to give inspire more generosity? Experiment ID: #9514

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 9/17/2018 - 9/24/2018

During Hurricane Florence fundraising efforts, BGEA experimented with a direct ask vs. asking email subscribers to pray (before asking them to give a gift to support their Rapid Response Team’s ministry efforts after the wreckage was cleared). This was the third email in a series of communications sent to the housefile. It had followed two prior emails that had made a direct solicitation of the file.

Research Question

Will asking people to pray before asking them to give inspire more generosity?


C: Give Now
T1: I Will Pray


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: Give Now 0.56%
T1: I Will Pray 0.73% 30.3% 99.6%

This experiment has a required sample size of 17,138 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 72,351, 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
× 30.3% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

We observed a statistically significant lift in donor conversion of 30% by positioning the petition to pray prior to making an ask. After a visitor signed the pledge to pray, they were then presented with an opportunity to make a gift.

This style of cultivation / solicitation tends to motivate a certain segment of donors. The previous two emails would have captured the people that were instantly motivated to make a gift and this was a way that allowed visitors to take a slower pathway to the donation form that first aligned them with the BGEA mission prior to making the ask. In future campaigns, this is a tactic that can be used in high urgency campaigns as well as on the website for organic website visitors.

It is also worth noting that the 30.9% increase in donor conversions also resulted in 42% more revenue given an additional increase in average gift.

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Experiment Documented by...

Kevin Peters

Kevin is the Chief Technology Officer at NextAfter. If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.