How the suggested gift amount impacts donor conversion and revenue Experiment ID: #18121

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 8/1/2019 - 9/11/2019

Focus on the Family has developed a bunch of video series that they use as acquisition offers using paid media to promote them. Once a person signs up for the offer, they are taken to an instant donation page. On this page, we offer them a premium to get if they make a gift of $50 or more. We hypothesized that we might be able to increase donor conversion if we lowered the suggested gift amount to $35. We wanted to see if we could increase donor conversion while still keeping the revenue at the same amount or more by increasing the number of donors. We tested the $50 suggested gift against a $35 suggested gift, change the number of people that they would reach with their gift amount, but didn’t change any other copy on the page.

Research Question

Would a lower suggested gift amount increase donor conversion and revenue?


C: $50 Suggested Gift
T1: $35 Suggested Gift


Treatment Name Conv. Rate Relative Difference Confidence
C: $50 Suggested Gift 3.9%
T1: $35 Suggested Gift 1.9% -51.1% 100.0%

This experiment has a required sample size of 543 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 8,248, 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
× 51.1% decrease in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

To our surprise, the $35 suggested gift amount decreased donor conversion by 51%. In addition to this, the lower suggested gift amount resulted in a 64% decrease in overall revenue as well. While it is great news that we can not only acquire more donors, and more revenue with a higher gift amount, we really want to understand why that is. There are a couple of factors that could have happened here…

  1. The number of people that a donor could reach was much higher with the higher suggested gift. This could have been a big motivating factor in a person’s decision to make a gift.
  2. The treatment version had the $35 gift pre-selected and the $50 version didn’t have any gift pre-selected. By pre-selecting the gift amount, we could have caused friction to the giving process by not allowing a person to “choose”. This could also be why we saw a significant decrease in revenue. We could have discouraged people from giving a larger amount.

We’d like to gain some clarity in these results and isolate each of the hypothesized variables. For now, we will roll out all donation pages to have the higher suggested gift amount.

Experiment Documented by...

Courtney Gaines

Courtney is a Vice 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.