Page speeds affect number of online donations, congress hears

Madeline Stanionis, creative director at the digital engagement firm M+R, says study of the impact of load speeds on donation pages is in its infancy, but will become increasingly important

The speed at which an online donation page loads will affect the number of donations given through the page, according to information gathered by the US digital engagement company M+R.

Speaking at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands yesterday, Madeline Stanionis, creative director at M+R, said the performance of a website’s donation page was becoming increasingly important.

She said the impact of load speeds on whether or not people chose to commit to a donation or purchase something was an issue that had only recently begun to be studied, and most of the available data came from the commercial world.

The US supermarket giant Walmart experienced an increase in conversion of 2 per cent for every one-second improvement in its load speed, she said. The online retail company Shopzilla saw a 25 per cent increase, Stanionis said, and the conversion rate of Barack Obama’s campaign site increased by 14 per cent when its donation page’s performance was improved by 60 per cent.

She said this was also applicable to charity donation pages.

"Here’s the thing: where this really matters is on mobile," she said. "And it will only become much more important as mobile demands it and more people are accessing donation pages on mobile devices."

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