How asking active donors to be one of a few donors to give a specific amount impacted revenue during a matching gift campaign Experiment ID: #22981

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

Ended On: 8/4/2020

As a part of The Heritage Foundation’s matching gift campaign (called “The Board Challenge”), we wanted to experiment with the ask amount and approach. Typically, the organization has used “make your best gift today” kind of language within their control copy.

In an attempt to set a smaller, more reasonable target, we wanted to experiment with driving donors to be “one of just X donors we need today to make a gift of Y.

The idea behind this is to (a) set a relevant ask amount for the donors, but also (b) allow them to see that they can help achieve a “small quantity” goal at that amount, as well.

Research Question

How does communicating a specific quantity of donors we’re asking to make a gift relevant to the active donor impact donor conversion or revenue?


Treatment Name Revenue per Visitor Relative Difference Confidence Average Gift
C: "Best Gift" $1.75 $85.49
T1: "One of a few" $1.97 12.6% 84.0% $94.37

This experiment was validated using 3rd party testing tools. Based upon those calculations, a significant level of confidence was not met so these experiment results are not valid.

Key Learnings

Although we did not validate an increase, we did see a directional increase of revenue by +12.6% (LoC: 83.9%).

Further, the donor conversion rate was relatively flat between the two segments (only showing a +2% increase, with a level of confidence of 29.9%). Additionally, we observed that 20.7% of the people in the treatment segment decided to give more than the amount that was asked for, while another 36% gave the exact amount that was asked of them.

Conclusion: Perhaps further experimentation with the ask amounts is advisable for active donors, but this directionally showed a lift in revenue.

Experiment Documented by...

Greg Colunga

Greg is Executive 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.