baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session Proposal

Messaging That Moves Your Donors: What We’ve Learned from Testing Thousands of Fundraising Appeals on Wikipedia


If you’ve ever seen a Wikipedia fundraising appeal, you can be sure you were part of a binomial experiment. Wikipedia is the only top-ten website run by a nonprofit, and it thrives primarily on individual donations averaging around $15. Wikipedia’s online fundraising program is built around principles of A/B testing to optimize donor conversion and relationship building.

How do you manage a fundraising program that touches hundreds of millions of people? How do you stay lean when you’re reaching users in 20 languages and 30 countries?

Simple: you methodically iterate to garner the most donations in the shortest amount of time possible, without burning out your audience or compromising your values.

From 2009 to 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation (the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia) increased annual revenue from $15 million to $77 million while tackling the challenges of a changing web, as more content is viewed in search engines and social networks, and as readers move from desktop to mobile devices.

In this time, we’ve built relationships with donors who come back, year after year, to support the world’s free encyclopedia. During this panel, we’ll look under the hood into the lessons we’ve learned and the future of online fundraising.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss best practices in using A/B testing to refine content and increase conversion re: your KPIs
  • See an overview of basic statistical analysis and the tools that Wikimedia uses while testing
  • Understand the value of limiting fundraising saturation to increase the lifetime value of your donors



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350 - 351


April 11, 2018


3:30pm – 5:00pm



CFRE Credits

Approved - 1.5

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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