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20NTC Session Proposal

Why Your Gut is Wrong: The Science of How Donors Behave Online


With Google Analytics, we know the who, what, when, where, and how of actions on your website. But do we know WHY those actions are happening? We can, thanks to the psychology of how we see. Even if you’re a non-designer, you’ll learn why certain layouts are scientifically proven to be more effective than others (and why you should never trust your gut).

We’ll look at how these designs play out in action against Cancer Research Institute’s donation goals. We’ll also leave you with 5 ideas for design elements you can test on your site today.


Case StudyWebsites


Ann Nguyen

Design Whaler

Whole Whale

Ann joined Whole Whale in 2013 and has been making splashes since then in the areas of design, development, and A/B testing. During her time at Whole Whale, Ann has overseen site builds that include DREAM, the LAMP, and Donate Life America. Beyond website development, Ann has led the charge on work with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the One Love Foundation, Charitybuzz, Prizeo, and United Way ALICE. Ann is also the product manager behind Lighthouse by Whole Whale and is currently working with Power Poetry on their Poetry Genome. Ann is a regular speaker and lecturer on nonprofit tech topics, including appearances at the Strata Data Conference in both San José and New York, NTC, NYU, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, the Lowline, and the White House.

Alice Northover

Senior Marketing Manager

Cancer Research Institute

Alice Northover is senior marketing manager at the Cancer Research Institute. In this role, she is responsible for several marketing initiatives, working to attract and engage donors, fundraisers, patients, scientists, and others with cancer immunotherapy research. In particular, she focuses on digital marketing, including user experience, discoverability, content optimization, and advertising. Prior to joining CRI, she worked across publicity, marketing, and social media, primarily in the publishing industry. Alice graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Medieval & Renaissance Studies (magna cum laude), a Master of Arts in French Studies, and a Certificate in Digital Media Marketing.

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March 14, 2019


1:15pm – 1:45pm
2:00pm – 2:30pm

CFRE Credits

NFR - .5

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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