How we grew London marathon donations with one simple trick

Fundraising Growth Tip

For those new to the world of online fundraising, an ‘activated’ Fundraising Page is one that has received at least one donation. Early activation is super important to reduce drop-out rates and maximise the total you raise.

So, with that in mind, we wanted to spill the beans on a test we did and how you can use the findings to boost your activation rate and raise more money!

What did we test?

We wanted to know what would be the impact of making a £5 donation to a group of London marathon fundraisers who hadn’t yet received a donation to their Fundraising Page.

Because we’re responsible testers, we included a “control group” in our test where we made sure a group of fundraisers didn’t receive the £5 donation. Ideally, we wanted to see a 20% increase in activation so we ran the test for two weeks across a large number of Fundraising Pages.


What did we learn?

We found that Fundraising Pages which received the £5 donation raised £118 more (on average) than the pages in the control group.

Give it a try yourself

Find your inactive fundraisers

Knowing who you’ll need to help should make your life a lot easier. There’s a tried and tested method to finding inactive fundraisers. Using JustGiving reports, you can create a bespoke report in your account. So when you want to check-in on your London marathon runners, you’ll have the report ready and waiting to refresh.

Follow these steps:

  • Log in to your charity account, click on the ‘Reports’ tab and select ‘Fundraising Page Reports’
  • Filter your data by pages with event date and enter the date of your event in the date fields (top tip: save the template for future use, so it’s even quicker to generate your report next time you need it)
  • Use the filter function in Excel to remove pages created for other events which take place on the same date. You do this by clicking on the column event name and choosing your filters
  • Look at the ‘Total Donations’ column to see how these fundraisers are doing, you can put a filter on this column to easily identify the fundraisers that have not yet received a donation.

Ask fundraisers to self-donate

It’s not cheeky to ask for folks to self-donate. It might seem counter-intuitive if you haven’t asked for a sign-up fee (surely that target is enough?!). But, there’s some great thinking behind it – there’s something inherently motivational about asking a supporter to commit to their fundraising with their own cash. That aside, it’s also a great opportunity to set a benchmark donation for donors dropping onto the page. Often people don’t know what an appropriate amount is to donate – a higher first donation sets an expectation (this could be a chance to ask for more than £5!)

We know that folks who donate to their own page for the London Marathon raise more than those who don’t. It’s a great motivator and you should feel confident in asking your fundraisers to do it!

So, why don’t you give our £5 activation tip a go and, as always, let us know how you got on!

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Phoebe is a Customer Success Manager at JustGiving, working with charities to help them make the most of JustGiving's tools and insights.