Alison Carlman Posts

Testing triggers for generosity

Do you think you’d be more likely to donate when a nonprofit gives you five project choices or just features one? And how close to the deadline of a matching offer would you be most compelled to give? That’s what we sought to find out with a recent email test…

In a 2012 project partner survey, we found that our nonprofit partners want more reliable funding from GlobalGiving. They wanted to be better able to plan and budget in advance; more monthly recurring donations from GlobalGiving donors would help them do so. In 2012 and 2013 we experimented with new ways to boost recurring donations, and one of our most successful techniques was a matching offer for new recurring donations that we emailed to our e-newsletter list.

Looking for ways to optimize returns on this tried and true email campaign this year,  we tested two different hypotheses in our September 2014 send:

  • First, would offering people a choice of five projects to support outperform an offer presenting them with just one choice?
  • Second, would it be better to send the appeal on the day before the deadline or the day of the deadline? We measured success by tracking the dollars raised per one thousand emails sent.

Cell 2 The metric of success in this experiment was dollars-per-thousand-emails-sent, or $/1K sent. This is a metric that is helpful at comparing performance of appeals across lists of varying sizes and levels of engagement, and is one of the key metrics featured in M+R’s annual benchmark study on the online activity of nonprofits. We also regularly track open, click-through rates, and conversion rates to learn about engagement with our emails.

We created four test cells to generate emails containing donor history-based personalization. We created four equally-sized randomized segments of our audience for this promotion. The subject line was kept constant across all cells. The four test cells were:

  • Cell 1: One project + sent the day before the deadline
  • Cell 2: Five projects + sent the day before the deadline
  • Cell 3: One project + sent the day of the deadline
  • Cell 4: Five project + send the day of the deadline



Here’s what happened:

The people who had five projects to choose from were more likely to give than those who just had one, and the emails sent the day before the deadline raised more funds than those sent the day of the deadline.

Four-cell test results

Here’s what we learned, and what we’ll do in the future:

1. Five choices are better than one. Although people clicked through the email at slightly lower rates when presented with five projects, (1.1% click-through rate for five projects versus 1.5% click-through rate for one project) readers of the five-choice emails were 27% more likely to give than those presented with just one project – and that’s a statistically significant finding. Going forward, we’ll now feature more than one project option, and we’ll hone our findings by testing five options versus four, three, or two.

Significance Test

2. Give ‘em some notice. The average $/k emails sent for the day-before emails was $135, and the average for the day-of-deadline emails was $118, making the day-before emails the winner. There was no statistically significant difference in the open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates of these emails; the only difference that stood out was donation amount: the people receiving the appeal the day before the deadline made donations that were 12% larger than those receiving the appeal the day of the deadline. This wasn’t an expected outcome, so we’ll see if this trend continues during future promotions of the same kind. Until we figure out more, our plan will be to send an appeal the day before the deadline with a follow-up the day of the deadline.

 

 

 

New Infographic: GlobalGiving’s Bet on Improving Nonprofit Effectiveness

Click to read about the impact GlobalGiving has in the world

Click to read about the impact GlobalGiving has in the world

You may be familiar with GlobalGiving as a way to help nonprofits raise funds from individual donors and progressive companies. But that’s only part of our mission. Our mission is to catalyze a marketplace for information, ideas and money, helping nonprofits access not only critical funding, but also critical tools and knowledge so that you can be as effective as possible with the resources you do have.

What do we mean by effectiveness? Well here’s what we’ve seen: whether in business, government or the nonprofit sector, the world’s most agile and adaptable organizations are learning organizations. They’re engaged in a continuous Cycle of Progress: listening, acting, learning, and repeating. (Sound a little like a core value you might have heard from us before?) These organizations are constantly honing what they do based on the best information they can get their hands on.

Check out our new infographic. that explains how we can make sure every dollar you contribute will have the highest impact possible, by helping you channel it toward the most agile and adaptive organizations in the areas that are most important to you.  

GlobalGiving to Hold Its First Summit on Social Media & Online Giving July 1-2, 2014 in New Delhi, India

(WASHINGTON, DC), June 10, 2014 – GlobalGiving, the organization behind charitable giving websites GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk, will hold its Summit on Social Media & Online Giving on July 1-2, 2014 in New Delhi, India. The Summit is produced in partnership with Social Media for Nonprofits, the premiere global event series on social media for social good.

The first-ever, two-day in-person event from GlobalGiving will bring together representatives from global technology services and leading South Asian NGOs to share insights, trends, and best practices for effectively engaging supporters and donors online. Fundraisers, executive directors, program managers, and communications staff from more than 100 organizations are expected to attend.

Confirmed speakers at the 2104 Summit on Social Media & Online Giving include:

India’s NGO community plays a large and active role in social change in India and around the world. More than 120 Indian organizations are actively fundraising on the website and more and more organizations are joining GlobalGiving every year. The 2014 Summit on Social Media & Online Giving is an opportunity to provide hands-on training to GlobalGiving’s existing partners and to introduce GlobalGiving to organizations that are interested in the fundraising platform. GlobalGiving is excited to host its first event of this kind in New Delhi.

“India’s NGO community already has the passion, creativity and people to tackle the extraordinary needs of its local communities, “ said GlobalGiving’s Chief Program Officer John Hecklinger. “With this Summit we’re bringing some of the best online tools and smartest practices into the mix.”

Since it was founded in 2002, GlobalGiving has enabled more than 4,000 nonprofit organizations to access technology, training, and visibility to raise funds for more than 9,000 projects in 144 countries. In January, the Washington, DC-based organization announced it had reached $100 million in total donations providing through its platform.

The event will take place at Habitat World at the India Habitat Centre. Staff from GlobalGiving partner NGOs and other nonprofit organizations are encouraged to attend. Regular registration is Rs. 4,500 with discounts provided to organizations that are members of GlobalGiving.

The 2014 Summit on Social Media & Online Giving is generously sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

For more information about the 2014 Summit on Social Media & Online Giving, visit:
www.globalgiving.org/summit-2014/

For more information about GlobalGiving, visit:
http://www.globalgiving.org/

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving is a registered nonprofit organization with the mission of catalyzing a global market for ideas, information, and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy. Its online fundraising platform, GlobalGiving.org, is creating new possibilities for everyday philanthropists, effective nonprofits, and innovative companies around the world.

About Social Media for Nonprofits

Social Media for Nonprofits is a nonprofit committed to providing nonprofits quality and accessible education on leveraging the power of social media for social good. We are the only series in the world dedicated to Social Media for Social Change. We provide capacity building training to nonprofits in this area with programs focused on fundraising, awareness, and advocacy.

Happy Money

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending - Book

The Science of Smarter Spending – Book

If you think money can’t buy happiness, think again. In their new book Happy Money, our friend Michael Norton and his fellow behavioral scientist Elizabeth Dunn, explain how money really can buy happiness – if you follow five core principles of smarter spending.

One of the principles should come as no surprise to all you GlobalGivers: spending money on others can increase your happiness even more than spending your cash on yourself.

It’s not just a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s science. Click here to see the book or read more in this Economist article.

10 lessons in 10 years: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Ten years ago, Co-Founders Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle launched GlobalGiving in the United States. In honor of the past ten years and in the spirit of one of our guiding core values, ‘Listen. Act. Learn. Repeat,’ we have launched a monthly blog series guest-written by former and current staff members. Each writer has spoken speak candidly about his or her experience with GlobalGiving and something that they learned. Dennis finishes off the year-long series with this post. 

Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle, Co-Founders of GlobalGiving

The other day a friend asked me to look back at my professional career and tell her what I was most proud of.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, you did all those multi-hundred million dollar projects at the World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s.  And then you were instrumental in creating the original Innovation and Development Marketplaces there.

“And now GlobalGiving has helped over 7,000 projects around the globe get $100+ million in funding from 300,000 donors and some of the most innovative companies in the world.  Plus, GlobalGiving is one of the few online giving platforms that has attained financial self-sustainability.  So which of those things are you most proud of?” she asked.

I paused, but only briefly.

“What I am most proud of is the team that we have built.  Every time I walk in the office I have an almost overwhelming sense of pride in the people there.  If you come visit some day, you will feel a hum in the large, wide-open space. People will be concentrating intensely, but periodically the room will be punctuated by laughter or by a bang on the office gong, signaling some milestone or breakthrough.

“If you keep watching, you will see that someone has hit a road block or has a question, and he will walk over to a colleague’s desk to ask for help.  The two of them will confer quietly. Someone else will look up from their work and come over to join the conversation. If you get closer, you will hear that the task at hand involves something that most teams would consider impossible.  And yet the problem gets solved, and the impossible is achieved – if not the same day, then the next day, or in any case soon.

“In the area where we have our weekly all-hands meetings, you will see what some team members have inscribed in big letters high on the wall:

ALWAYS OPEN

NEVER SETTLE

COMMITTED TO WOW

LISTEN=> ACT=> LEARN=> REPEAT

“Those are not just words – they really are the tenets that guide our actions and decisions day in and day out.

“They are the values that explain why the team can do exceptional things when others are stymied.

“They are the principles that explain why forty people can run and continually improve a platform that supports thousands of heroic project leaders and hundreds of thousands of donors in over one hundred countries.

“They are the reason why you ain’t seen nothing yet.  GlobalGiving has achieved a lot in its first ten years.  But just wait until you see what GlobalGiving does in the next decade.”

That’s what I told my friend.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Well-executed ideas are rare, and there is no team that can execute like the gang at GlobalGiving.  My deepest appreciation goes to everyone who has been on our team since we first opened our doors ten years ago. Thank you all for making me so proud.