Raise More Money by Giving Donors Choices

Advanced, Fundraising

By Jeremy Reis

One of the curious studies performed in pricing theory is around giving people options. In a sales situation, giving people three options often results in most people selecting the middle option. When you give donors a number of choices, you are setting an expectation of what other donors are doing. Setting this expectation with the reader who is viewing your landing page will move a donor up in average gift to meet the options you provided.

When you’re running a fundraiser, it’s important to give potential donors plenty of giving options so that they can choose the option that best suits their needs. A gift matrix is a great way to do this. A gift matrix is a table that lists all of the giving options available, along with relevant information about each option. This makes it easy for donors to compare and contrast the options and choose the one that’s right for them.

For example, take a look at the default giving matrix on CARE’s giving page:

I’d guess CARE’s average gift online was less than $100 and by putting this option and specifically calling it out, CARE’s average digital gift has probably increased.

Traditionally, we’ve recommended providing three primary options and a fourth (enter your own amount), but new studies are showing you can give donors multiple options, as illustrated by CARE.

Take a look at the giving page for Pencils of Promise:

Pencils of Promise follows the traditional four options model. I believe the organization’s donor base is younger than CARE’s so the giving matrix reflects a younger audience.

Why Use a Gift Matrix?

There are several reasons why you should use a gift matrix on your landing page. First, as we mentioned above, it gives donors the opportunity to choose a level of giving that is comfortable for them. Secondly, it helps to build trust with potential donors by being upfront about how their donations will be used. And thirdly, it can increase conversions because it takes the guesswork out of giving for potential donors.

When creating your gift matrix, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure your giving levels are clearly defined and easy to understand. Second, be sure to list the benefits associated with each level so donors know what they’re getting in return for their donation. Finally, don’t forget to include a call-to-action for each level so donors know what to do next.

How do you determine the giving matrix on landing pages?

Determine your giving levels: The first step is to determine what levels of giving you want to offer potential donors. You’ll want to strike a balance between offering too many options (which can be overwhelming) and too few options (which could limit your donations). A good rule of thumb is to offer four or five different giving levels.

If you decide to use three choices + a fourth option for “other,” I recommend finding your median and average online donation amounts and then building a donation matrix based on that. For example, if your average gift online is $55, you might want to use $25, $75, and $125 as your giving matrix. You will likely see your median gift start floating more towards the $75 donation amount. If your average gift is $80, you may want to use $50, $100, and $150 as your giving matrix.


A well-crafted gift matrix is an essential tool for any nonprofit looking to increase conversions on its landing page. By offering donors options for giving and clearly listing the benefits associated with each level, you can make it easy for potential donors to find a level that fits their budget and interests. Give donors choices to increase giving.



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