May 2021

Dynamic donation amounts
Small changes with a big effect.

+12,3 % higher average donation with Dynamic Donations

More help for those affected thanks to Dynamic Donations

Fundraisers often face the following questions when creating landing pages: How should we determine donation amounts? What suggested amounts are appropriate for their donors? Once the amounts are set: Does it make sense to change them on a regular basis?

Determining donation amounts is indeed a complex issue and the potential should not be underestimated by organizations. The Salvation Army Switzerland entrusted us with the task of taking a closer look. Our solution is called Dynamic Donations: Get big results with small changes. The Salvation Army was very pleased with the strong effect. Especially because those affected benefit the most – which makes the donors happy as well.

Challenge – The art of determining the appropriate donation amount

We asked ourselves the following questions: What considerations do organizations need to make when setting predetermined donation amounts? Are amounts that are too high too daunting? Does the organization miss out if donation amounts are too low to choose from? Many tests have been conducted and papers written about proposed amounts in both traditional and digital fundraising. Fundraisers know how important it is to offer the right amounts. One thing is quite clear: pre-set donation amounts influence donation behavior. Unfortunately, there are no “one-size fits all” donation amounts. That’s why it’s smart for organizations to allow different donation amounts for different donors.

Solution – Dynamic Donations, what else!

Dynamic Donations offer a valuable approach to optimize donation amounts. With Dynamic Donations, suggested amounts are dynamically adjusted to the context based on analytics data. The goal is to display amounts that are as appropriate as possible and thus generate higher donation revenues. For example, simple rules can be used to differentiate according to user source or device (mobile or desktop). In more complex setups, existing donors can also be identified and individual amount suggestions displayed based on past donation behavior. Unlike dynamic pricing, which is often used by airlines, however, these are only suggestions and not fixed amounts. Donors always have the option of choosing an individual donation amount as well.

«The volume of donations through our website is steadily increasing, making testing and optimization ever more important. Every additional Swiss franc we raise through Dynamic Donations helps us support people in need.»

Mischa Rychener, Digital Fundraising Specialist, Salvation Army Switzerland

Implementation – Donation amounts are not set in stone


The Salvation Army has, together with getunik, relaunched its donation page and thus gained the possibility to use Dynamic Donations. This way, donors see donation amounts that match their donation behavior. Thanks to Dynamic Donations, the suggestions are continuously optimized. In addition, a distinction is made as to whether the donation suggestions are viewed on a mobile device or on a desktop.

Based on existing data, it was analyzed that desktop donors choose higher donation amounts. We took advantage of this by selecting the following amounts for desktop users: CHF 60, CHF 120, and CHF 250. Before increasing the donation amounts, users could choose CHF 50, CHF 100, and CHF 200. Mobile users now see smaller amounts: CHF 50, CHF 100 and CHF 240. After the end of the test, it was found that mobile users often use the default amounts. Therefore, the mobile amounts were also adjusted to CHF 60, CHF 120 and CHF 250 to generate higher donations.


Effect – Small measures with great success

The success of this small adjustment is incredible. For donations in the tested optimization range below CHF 300, the average donation increased significantly by +12.31% (comparison period 11/15/2019-12/31/2019 to 11/15/2020-12/31/2020; Wilcoxon rank-sum test). An initial estimate of the additional donation revenue generated by the optimization: +4.33% increase in donation revenue generated during the comparison period.

«Optimizing donation amounts can be very interesting for organizations, as small changes can increase donation income by several percentage points. In total, the return on investment (ROI) for this measure is very high.»

Daniel Barco, Data Scientist, getunik

getunik services

getunik supported the Salvation Army Switzerland during these steps:

Salvation Army Switzerland – We support people in need

The Salvation Army is an integral part of the worldwide Christian church and a relevant partner in society and politics. Its mission is to be on the road for people. For more justice, hope and love.

Gregor Nilsson, Managing Partner

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