Best-practice tests for your fundraising

If you’re from a small not-for-profit or business, chances are you won’t have budget to keep up to date with best-practice tests for your fundraising, whether it’s the latest training, findings or research.

Sound like you? Not to worry – let me share my notes from the last conference I went to with these simple tests you can try out today:

Test the ‘part of a community’ principle.

Did you know there is evidence out there to suggest that by simply telling someone ‘Bob from your area gave $XXX’, it will usually illicit a $20 – $30 average gift increase? If you have a call centre this is a handy test you can try out with the supporters you are looking to upgrade.

Change the way you ask them to donate.

Aside from making sure that the dollar handles on your donate page are unique and match the supporter’s giving amount (yes this is old news), have you tried testing a slider bar instead of static amounts? Even better, if the money they are giving is put towards building a house, why not show an animation next to the slider that actually builds a house as you go up in dollars. The lift in average gift is likely to go up as people see with their eyes the impact of their giving.

Make your offer run out.

Sounds silly, but how many of us walk into a shop that promotes ‘50% off ends tomorrow’ for a pair of shoes we don’t need? The fact I won’t want to miss out on a bargain for something worth a lot more makes the offer all the more inviting. Even better… you tell me that this is exclusive to your loyal customers only and I’m like… YES I’LL TAKE THE SHOES IN BOTH COLOURS PLEASE.

… And better yet, tell me that someone is going match my every dollar with a donation to children in Africa, and suddenly I’m actually feeling good about the $150 purchase that wasn’t budgeted for on the cost sheet.

Have you tried these tests in your own organisations? I’d love to hear from you and your results.

Email me at

Alternatively, if you’re ready to implement any of the above, first take a read through 3 big reasons you shouldn’t be writing your own copy.

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