One thing we experimented with was running a large donation match both during our event and our last 6 months of fundraising. We found the donation match was extremely helpful in encouraging others to donate and somewhat helpful in allowing us to track our impact. The three largest benefits that the donation match produced are listed below:
1) It created a sense of urgency. Many donors felt as though they wanted to donate but had put it off indefinitely, sometimes for years. The match made them feel as though now was a good time instead of waiting until later or forgetting again.
2) It created a sense of achievement. Many of the people who donated to the Charity Science Walk felt much more accomplished in their fundraising when they saw that it got doubled. I think this ended up motivating several to fundraise or donate more.
Below is a graph of donations per day for the event. The huge spike on September 8th is the day when we started applying the match to individual fundraisers’ pages. We talked about it before, but seeing it on their own pages made a huge difference. The match itself is not tracked on this graph; it just shows that new donations increasing substantially once they see the match happening.
3) It created a sense of increased impact. People felt like they were saving more lives per dollar. It made effective charities seem even stronger compared to standard charities.
Overall the match was extremely valuable. We feel that about half of all the donations made were significantly affected by the match. Many people actively commented that they were donating because of it. Because of this we will likely aim to have a match running for every major event in the future.
The total amount that was matched
We raised $22,987 for effective charities that we are confident would not have been donated otherwise. We excluded just over $5,875 ($11,750 if matched) of donations that we feel could not be counterfactually attributed to Charity Science and did not count any donations that we suspected happened but did not have concrete proof of (eg. donation receipts).
We also suspect some more money will be donated over the next few months inspired by the event, but we do not have good confidence in this amount so it was not included. We feel that if we used a less stringent tracking system this number could be well above $30,000.
Below is a graph of money moved each month to effective charities, including the match and not including operating expenses. We feel that the total depicted for September is slightly lower than it will be as this data was collected before the end of the month.
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