Will our latest donation form help us raise more money this year?

For a few days last week our fundraising appeal was featured on the Firefox snippet which gave us a chance to test one of the new donation forms we are developing ahead of our end of year appeal in 2014.

How you design and build a donation form, and how you ask people for donations are two factors that when combined impact whether or not you raise the money you need for the cause you care about; in our case, the Mozilla Foundation! And ultimately, protecting the free and open web.

We have lots of ideas about things we think could improve our donation forms so that more Mozilla supporters (like you, I hope!) make it through the process. But I can tell you from experience testing donation forms over many years that the things you think will work, sometimes make things worse. So you have to keep a close eye on the data, and use it to guide your decisions.

Here’s the old form and the new form we tested:

EOY_form_test_1How did it do?

The New Form…

  • Increased total conversion rate by 32% (from 5% to 6.7%)
  • Increased total income by 6% (from $482 to $514 per 1000 unique visitors)
  • Shifted the balance of PayPal (PP) to Credit Card (CC) payment type from ~50% PP to ~70% PP
  • Reduced CC conversion (-22%) and reduced CC income (-30%)
  • Increased PP conversion (+85%) and increased PP income (+51%)
  • Reduced the average gift by 20% (from $9.51 to $7.64)

Hypothesis: Some donors who would have donated by card see the PayPal option, and switch to this instead (potential cause of CC decline) and some additional more ‘casual’ donors are more likely to engage because the PP option reduces friction for them (hence the significant increase in PP). To be clear, this is just a hypothesis at this point in the time.

To dig deeper into the data and particularly the reduced average gift amount, we looked at the distribution of donation amounts by payment type.

DonationDistributionThe new form had relatively little effect on the more committed donors ($5-50) but had significant impact on the smaller gifts (<5$). Perhaps these are more casual or more cautious donors who were happier to make a donation of this size via PayPal. This could be because they trust PayPal, or they found it more convenient (quicker).

In this case, the decline in average gift looks like we engaged an additional broader audience who donate at a lower price point rather than the design of the form encouraging most donors to give a bit less on average. Which is good news.

The bottom line is that using this new form should raise about 6% more donations in total than if we’d stuck with the old one. ¬†Over the course of December that will add up to tens of thousands of extra dollars to fund our projects.

Expect more updates like this from us soon. We will be testing our fundraising ideas (and ourselves) every day through of our end of year campaign.

We have an ambitious fundraising target this year, and we need to continually learn from our data and adapt our campaign to reach our goals for the year.

– A

No responses yet

  1. David Rajchenbach-Teller wrote on :

    Through the contribute form, we often hear from users who wish to donate but cannot because the donation page is not available in their language and/or their currency. Will this be fixed with this new iteration of the donation form?

  2. Sebastian wrote on :

    The increase in PayPal payments could be partially supported by wider PayPal penetration than credit cards in some countries. (eBay customer have a PayPal account, I guess.) What other improvement ideas which sparked during the end of last year’s fundraising campaign got implemented? ( https://foundation.etherpad.mozilla.org/EOYFR-2014 )

  3. Andrea Wood wrote on :

    @David thank you so much for reporting feedback from the contribute form! If you have any other feedback or questions trending from contribute, will you please contact me (I’m in the Mozilla phonebook).

    We are a global org, so providing a more localized experience for donors all over the world is really important to us. Localizing the donor experience is challenging because of unique currencies, different gateways and security requirements for credit card payments, and other technical and vendor challenges I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say we are working hard on this challenge.

    This year we Increased localization of our main donation form and follow-up communications to DE, FR, PT-BR (same from 2013) + ID, Spanish (new in 2014). We are also localizing a new PayPal donation experience for:
    Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
    Philippine Peso (PHP)
    Australian Dollar (AUD)
    Hungarian Forint (HUF
    Polish Zloty (PLN)
    Brazilian Real (BRL)
    Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
    Russian Ruble (RUB)
    British Pound (GBP)
    Japanese Yen (JPY)
    Canadian Dollar (CAD)
    Mexican Peso (MXN)
    Swedish Krona (SEK)
    Czech Koruna (CZK)
    New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
    Swiss Franc (CHF)
    Danish Krone (DKK)
    New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
    Thai Baht (THB)
    Euro (EUR)
    Norwegian Krone (NOK)

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