No charity branding equals fewer contact permissions

Jesper Juul Jensen
Min to read

Trust influences donors willingness to give their contact permission. That statement almost seems obvious and self-explanatory. The real question is by how much does trust influence the donor's willingness to give a contact permission? The answer is “a lot!” The result should make any fundraiser reconsider some of the ways fundraising has been done online the last 20 years.

What we found on contact permissions

We found that donors are no less than 71% more likely to give a contact permission if the donation page is branded with the charity rather than a giving platform brand. If the donor has to trust both the charity and the giving platform, donor trust will everything else equal, be less than otherwise. 

So you might usually receive contact permission from 10% of the donors on giving platforms. With a branded white label you will receive contact permissions from 17,1% of your donors.

How we found it

The result is based on 4,212 donations to three charities made via personal peer-to-peer fundraising pages. The charities had the exact same campaigns published on two sites over the same time period. One site was a giving platform branded with BetterNow. The other website was a white label platform, branded with the charity on their own web domain, also supplied by BetterNow. The donation forms were exactly the same except for the design and branding. The branding was different both in relation to the logo shown, but also overall style, font, colours etc. The fundraising pages was even synchronized in real time across both sites.

As you can read from the table below, donors are way more likely to give contact permission on charity branded sites.

 If you want to read the detailed results and the nitty gritty (but important) details on methodology and data, you can read more at the BetterNow blog.

What this means for digital fundraising 

Getting 71% more contact permission is a big deal and will require any digital fundraiser to re-think the use of giving platforms. 

This experiment was carried out in the context of peer-to-peer fundraising. 71% more donor permissions are such a radical improvement that it will notably improve the ROI for your challenge event or community fundraising initiatives. 

But it has more than just a financial impact. With the recent media attention to charities' handling of personal data, informed contact permissions are more important than ever.

The case of peer-to-peer fundraising

We found the results in the context of peer-to-peer fundraising. Here the importance of quickly attaching the donor to your organisation is especially urgent. Donors will be asked to donate by a friend or family member. The reason the donor supports your charity is mainly because of that friend or family member. Without having your brand out there, you risk the donor quickly forgets about the organisation their friend collected for. 

Another way branding could influence is through the conversion rate from donor contact permission to monthly donor. The hypothesis is that donors who engage with your charity brand convert more, than those who donate through a giving platform. But we haven’t had the data to test that hypothesis. 

Today, your digital donor relations often start with a generic form on a giving platform. But you want to make sure that it is branded with your charity in order to increase the number of (well informed) contact permissions.

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