The Effect Of Trust Indicators On Charitable Giving

GlobalGiving Chief Product Officer Kevin Conroy dives into the topic of trust indicators and how they can impact charitable giving.


What We Tested

We wanted to find out the best way to show impact and recognition data about the projects on our site. Should the information be depicted in graphics or text? In narrative or numerical form? Where should it go on a page, and how much information is enough?

Our Big Question

How should we show donors project recognition data?

Why It Matters

The projects and organizations on GlobalGiving represent a wide range of causes and communities. We’ve set up a common set of badges and recognitions, or trust indicators, that can be earned—such as being top-ranked on our site, being a staff favorite, or demonstrating effectiveness through GG Rewards. However, we wanted to find out the best way to share this information with donors to foster the most connection with the projects and, in turn, increase giving.

Our Method

GlobalGiving launched several A/B tests on our site to find the most effective place to display this information. We experimented with showing these badges in search results, along the top of project pages, and along the right side of project pages under the donation options.

The Ultimate Outcome

What we found surprised us. Giving increased the most when donors could filter projects by recognition criteria and when they could see the full icon and text of the recognition on the right-hand side of the project. Donors did not care for the use of just icons or tags on projects. Based on our user interviews, they indicated that they want to see the full name of the recognition badge and be able to mouse over each to learn more. They also expressed that they wanted to know which projects were vetted. As such, the following recognitions are now available to all projects on GlobalGiving:

GG recognition badges. trust indicators

Make It Yours

Has your nonprofit earned an award or recognition? Do you have third-party validation from an entity like Charity Navigator, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Guidestar, or even GlobalGiving? Has your work been covered by a major news outlet? If so, consider showing a badge or logo on your site and donation page to increase awareness of these third-party trust indicators. You may find that donations increase when donors are able to easily find trust indicators about your organization. If you’re still wondering why this should be a priority for your organization, consider this:

Donations increase when donors are able to easily find trust indicators about your organization.

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