Thursday, April 17, 2014

On-line Upgrades - The Easiest Way To Boost Your Donations?

When we set up we added a little tick box to "Cover The Charity's Fees". When donors tick the box it increases their donation to cover all credit card, admin fees, etc. so that the charity walks away with the full original amount the donor was trying to give.

Essentially it's an upgrade - on it increases a donation by about 4%. (Sales pitch: doesn't charge any monthly, annual or registration fees. No risk)

We shamelessly stole it from a small Irish competitor, and I'm delighted to see more and more of the big fundraising sites rolling this out now.

On between 10% - 20% of people tick the box. It's not huge but it's an easy boost of income to charities for the sake of a tiny tick box. It should be on every charity's website.

A different on-line giving platform came out with their results this week and have managed to get about 95% of donors ticking the box...amazing! How did they do it? By having the box ticked as a default. The donation is rounded up unless the donor specifically unticks the box.

Personally I think that's a bit cheeky...but brilliant. And having seen the 95% figure I'm seriously considering rolling this out on

The next logical question is: How far can we take this?

Through testing different wording and different layouts I've no doubt we can boost the number of donors that want to cover the donation fees. But more than that, what if the tick box wasn't just about covering the fees?

What about a tick box to increase donations by 10%, 50% or 100%? "If you tick this box we'll double your donation and double the impact you have."

Or what about adding a small fixed fee. "If you tick this box we'll add €5 to your donation to save one more child's life."

Let's test it...


  1. Absolutely! Congrats for being an early mover in this area, but the possibilities of testing different ways of, effectively, upselling are considerable.

    There are so many options to test. One that springs to mind is the question 'does your employer match-fund donations?' There is at least one commercial service that links to such employers, letting people find out.

    Look forward to the results of your tests!

    1. Thanks honour to have you on my blog :-)

  2. We had to give charities the option to disable this option..some just prefer donors did not see the commission option..55% ticked the cover fees options last month.

    1. Interesting! Thanks for sharing your stats Alan.