How increasing urgency and perceived need affects donor conversion Experiment ID: #10685

Texas Public Policy Foundation

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 12/20/2018 - 1/13/2019

Texas Public Policy Foundation was running a campaign to raise support for their Center for the American Future, which defended citizens against government overreach. They were running a petition of support for John Yearwood, a rancher who faced a threat from the government if he disturbed the habitat of a rare spider—one which he had never seen!

The petition was followed by a donation ask, which was not performing very well. They decided to create a treatment that redesigned the page and message to present the need and urgency in a more forceful manner, hypothesizing that it would increase donor conversion. The treatment page added a headline that thanked the signer. They then tried to heighten the stakes by telling the reader that the stakes of this case were high, and could possibly affect them. The next paragraph of copy focused on a single fact—Mr. Yearwood can’t fund this case by himself, and hundreds of Texans are stepping up to help him fund it. Then comes the “but” statement—they are currently short of goal. They put a thermometer on the page that showed how close they were, and provided some social proof. 

Research Question

How will increasing urgency and perceived need affect donor conversion?


C: Control
T1: Radical Redesign


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: Control 0.36% $0.00
T1: Radical Redesign 1.2% 236.1% 95.0% $0.00

This experiment has a required sample size of 831 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 1,669, 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
× 236.1% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The new donation page produced a 236.1% increase in donor conversion, which showed the importance of communicating not just the cause, but the need for funds. Additionally, social proof and urgency—in this instance, the case moving forward without the necessary funds had an effect.  

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Experiment Documented by...

Jeff Giddens

Jeff is the President 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.