Search Design Experiment – Driving more donations to projects on GlobalGiving!

Posted by Alexis Nadin on November 12th, 2012

At GlobalGiving, our goal is to help our partner organizations raise more money for their valuable work around the world. We’re always thinking of new ways to drive more individuals to the GlobalGiving site and to increase the number of people giving to projects.

So, starting today, GlobalGiving is launching a new search design experiment in an effort to increase the percentage of donors who make a donation on the site!

Throughout the next few months, when a donor goes to search for a project on GlobalGiving, they will be randomly assigned one of nine new designs (see below for more details about the designs). We will closely track and compare the results from each search design—what percentage of donors click through to see a project page? what percentage of donors choose to make a donation? do certain search designs result in more donations than others?—and continue to test all nine designs until we have statistically significant results and we are able to select the most effective search design!

See below for more information about this experiment and screenshots of the different search designs.

Experimentation on GlobalGiving

We are dedicated to testing and improving our website to offer donors the optimal giving experience so that over time, they come back, give again, and give more money or more often than before. One way that we are doing this is through experiments run in collaboration with major donors and researchers. Last year, GlobalGiving tested the default donation amount on project pages, finding that donors are likely to give a minimum donation of up to $30 when prompted (read more here). Earlier this year, we tested various matching offers to see what would encourage donors to go from making a one-time donation to a monthly recurring donation (see the results here).

Search Design Experiment

GlobalGiving’s newest experiment is inspired by the Money for Good initiative, which conducted research on the US market for charitable gifts from individuals, including the factors influencing individuals’ decisions to give. The report shows that most donors do not spend a lot of time researching organizations before making a donation and those that do are looking for simple, digestible information.

Through this experiment, we expect to identify ways to increase giving through the search feature on our site by making it easier for donors to quickly compare projects and make a decision on which project to support.  The new designs have two major themes: Consumer Report and Visual. The Consumer Report designs provide donors with more information about the project and the organization—Partner Rewards Level, long term impact, funding to date, reports over time, etc. The Visual designs use a tile-like layout to feature more projects on one page.

These new designs will not affect the project itself. Donors with a direct link to the project or who are going to the project in response to a project report or thank you email will not see these new designs.

Here’s a quick look at the new designs:

Control 

This is the existing search design on GlobalGiving’s website.

Consumer Reports – Multiple Photos

Consumer Reports – Partner Rewards Level

Select donors will see search results with the Partner Rewards Level of the organizations listed. Donors can click on the question mark to learn more about the Partner Rewards Program. Click here to read the description.

Consumer Reports – Project Grades

Select donors will see search results with project grades. The grades—A,B,C—will correspond with the organization’s Partner Rewards Level—Superstars are A, Leaders are B , Partners are C. Donors can click on the question mark to learn more about grades. Click here to read the description.

Consumer Reports – Project Statistics

In this design, donors will see statistical information about project including funding to date, donation history, reports, and grade.

Consumer Reports – Long Term Impact

Visual

In this option, we show donors more projects one on page—up to 200!—using a tile-like design.

Visual – Partner Rewards Program

Select donors will see search results with the Partner Rewards Level of the organizations listed. Donors can click on the question mark to learn more about the Partner Rewards Program. Click here to read the description.

Visual – Project Grades

Select donors will see search results with project grades. The grades—A,B,C—will correspond with the organization’s Partner Rewards Level—Superstars are A, Leaders are B , Partners are C. Donors can click on the question mark to learn more about grades. Click here to read the description.

Visual – Project Funding Thermometer

We will continue to test all nine designs until we have statistically significant results and we are able to select the most effective search design. Stay tuned for the results sometime next year!

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