Optimizing charitable giving without alienating donors


Our client, a non-profit, was interested in understanding how they could increase their solicitation activities through their e-mail newsletter without a subsequent increase in their unsubscribe-rate that normally came with each sent e-mail.



Behavioral Insight:

On the one hand, emails and reminders are necessary to overcome people’s low attention span and trigger action, especially in the area of fundraising. On the other hand, they are often experienced as annoying or guilt generating.

We designed a randomized controlled trial that tested two types of messages designed to mitigate dissatisfaction against the usual message. One focusing on the frequency of the newsletter a second emphasizing the benefit of staying on the mailing list for the receiver.



We found that announcing as well as reducing the frequency of reminders led to a significantly lower unsubscribe-rate from the mailing list. We therefore recommended to our client to send fewer reminders in order to keep valuable donors long-term rather than simply maximizing donations in the present.

Lessons Learned:

While it might look like that reminders always increase desired behavior, they might come at a cost of losing valuable subscribers who might have donated at a later point.

We are a management consultancy applying behavioral insights to create business and societal impact. We use our expertise in behavioral economics and social psychology to design evidence-based solutions to critical challenges. We leverage scientific methods to identify interventions that will have long lasting, measurable effects.



Email: info@impactually.se

Phone: +46 76 191 7134

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111 37 Stockholm

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