This fundraising test result could double your income

Fundraising emails

It’s always satisfying when a test proves your instinct to be right. It’s even more of a relief when a test proves something you’ve held to be fundamental to good practice in fundraising to be right.

So the lovely folks at Blue Cross have kindly allowed me to share the results of an email test we ran on one of their appeals with them.

The test was simple – it was one fundraising email with specific financial asks and donation buttons (i.e. A generous gift of £50 from you today can help vulnerable kittens..’) against one with the same basic copy and design, but without specific financial asks and donation buttons (i.e. ‘A gift from you today can help vulnerable kittens…’).

See below the copy for the two versions of the Blue Cross fundraising email:

As a fundraiser I would always expect the option with the specific asks to out-perform the other, and it did. But it’s useful to be able to quantify the performance levels – especially when you need to convince non-fundraisers within your organisation of why these methods work.

In fact, the email with financial asks had a response rate more than 60% higher than the email without it.

So, if you aren’t currently making direct asks with your fundraising emails, do it from now on – as you have the evidence to tell you (and your colleagues) that is almost twice as effective.


By Richard Docwra
Director, ChangeStar

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