21 Elements to A/B Test on Your Donation Page

Video TrainingWebsite Design + Optimization

In 2017, the charitable giving amount in the U.S. reached $390 billion. Of that amount, 72% came from individual donors. This is just one reason why your donation page is the one of the most important pages on your nonprofit’s site. But how do you optimize it to make sure that you’re encouraging as many people as possible to convert? We’ve done some research and put together 21 different elements that you can A/B test on your donation page to increase donations, along with examples from some of our favorite nonprofits.

21 A/B Tests to Run on Your Donation Page

1. Hero image

The hero image is the element that visitors to your donation page see most prominently, so it can be interesting to test and see what type of visual drives more people to give. Check out this example from The Humane Society.  

2. Headline

If the visitor reads nothing else on the page, the headline copy is going to be what sticks with them most. You can see how iMentor uses a compelling headline to grab users’ attention and encourage them to “Become a champion for college success.”

3. Color Scheme

You can use your organization’s brand colors to test different buttons and headers to see which combination encourages more people to donate. Conservation.org utilized their brand colors on their donation page by making their headlines green and their donation buttons blue.

4. Impact Statistics

Donors want to know how their money will be used to further your amazing cause, so go ahead and test different stats and their placements to see if this has impact on donation rates. Check out this example from the ASPCA:

5. Financial Transparency

In addition to where their donation will be going, donors also want to know how many cents of their dollar is actually going towards the cause. The Michael J. Fox Foundation clearly indicates on their donation page that 88 cents of every dollar will go towards Parkinson’s research programs, which adds value and incentive for the visitor.

6. Designation Option

While not applicable to all nonprofits, you can test designation options: give donors the ability to choose which program, region, or other specific places they would like their donation to go to.

7. Trust Badges

Donors want to know that their donation transactions are secure and that the nonprofit will receive their money safely. Oxfam uses different icons on their donation page to showcase certifications from the Better Business Bureau and Charity Watch along with testimonials to instill trustworthiness and credibility.  

8. Field Type

Big buttons with donation amounts are pretty common on donation pages, but it’s worth testing other field types, like drop-downs, to see if they have any significant impact. You can check-out this example from the International Rescue Committee, who tested out a list format:

9. Preset Amounts

You can test out the listed preset amounts in the donation button options to see if increasing or decreasing has any impact on average donation amount.

10. Tribute Donations

Many donors like to give money “in memory of” or “in honor of” individuals they know, so try allowing that option on your donation page and see if it compels more people to donate. Donate Life America gives visitors the option to donate in tribute to someone even before donor chooses the amount they want to give.

11. Donation Tiers

Donation tiers allow you to associate different giving amounts with “levels,” which could be as simple as different membership options, like what 92Y offers. This gives donors a feeling of exclusivity, making it a good test to run.

12. Social Proof

We love social proof so much we wrote an entire post about it! Donors like to know that other people or celebrities are supporting your cause as well, so make sure you leverage social proof on your donation page and see how its psychological sway affects conversions.   

13. Stickiness

Stickiness is when a particular feature on your site “sticks” with the user somewhere on the page while they’re scrolling. Applying stickiness to a donation button could serve as a continuous reminder to site visitors to donate when they’re done reading what’s on the page.

14. Progress Bar

A progress bar can show visitors how close your organization is to reaching its fundraising goals. Take a look at how Donors Choose features different classrooms to support, along with how much money is still needed to complete each project.

15. Pop-ups

Donation forms don’t have to live on a static webpage. Consider testing pop-ups on different content pages and seeing if there are increases in donations.

16. One-step vs. Multi-step

Some visitors might want to see everything laid out up-front when it comes to filling out a donation form, while others prefer completing a step-by-step process. The only way to find out which one your audience prefers? Test! Check out LIVESTRONG to see an example of a one-form donation page, and United Way to see how they broke it down into 3 steps.

17. Recurring Giving Copy

It’s helpful to test different copy of the small snippet of text that encourages users to give monthly or annually, as opposed to a one-time donation. The ACLU put this into practice by including copy that gave the user more incentive to make their donation recurring by pointing out “A monthly gift does even more to protect civil liberties.”

18. Cover Transaction Fee

Giving visitors the option to cover the transaction fee associated with their donation can let them know that if they choose to do so, 100% of their donation will go towards the cause. The Obama Foundation makes the transaction fee coverage option a prominent part of their donation form.  

19. Publicize Donation

You can test to see if giving your donors the option to let the world know they support your organization encourages them to donate more. For example, the Century Foundation has a public wall on it’s donation page that lists the names of real donors and the amount they’ve given:

20. Add-on Swag

In general, people feel more inclined to donate if they get some type of branded swag in return. Take a look at NPR, who offers mugs and other apparel in exchange for different monthly donation amounts.

21. Button CTA

Go ahead and test different donation-form submission buttons! Try changing it up from the classic “Submit” to something more exciting or actionable like “Make a Difference” or “Thank You for Your Support.”

There you have it, 21 elements to A/B test on your donation page. Hopefully this list gives you some inspiration and motivation to start testing — it’s never too late to optimize your organization’s donation page and increase those donations!
Did we miss an element that you think is worth testing? Be sure to tweet us @WholeWhale and let us know!  

Get an infographic listing all 21 elements to A/B test on your donation page plus so much more in our End-of-Year Campaign Guide at Whole Whale University!