Research:Donor engagement

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This page documents a completed research project.


Donors are a highly committed population of Wikipedia users. This series of test will attempt to engage and onboard donors in a variety of ways and measure the effect of these campaigns on new editor acquisition.

This opportunity is due to two contributing factors:

  1. Donors are presented with a survey post-registration, and a portion of the current year's group of donors requested information about how to edit.
  2. This year, the Wikimedia fundraiser resulted in large spikes in registration, and it is apparent that some large portion of these are donors.[1][2]

Research questions[edit]

  • Can a significant percentage of interested donors or readers be converted in to productive Wikipedia editors?
  • How does the conversion to editors among donors compare to conversion rates among general signups?
  • Which messages are most effective at converting readers and donors?

Overall metrics[edit]

  • The number of donors registering, as measured though campaigns.
  • The conversion rate of donors to editors

List of campaigns[edit]

Campaign parameter Campaign source Campaign target
fr12a Sue's thank you email Donors
fr12b Landing page for editor campaign banner Readers
fr12c Banner for editor campaign Readers

Experiment 1: Thank you letter[edit]

Status:    Done

All donors receive a thank-you letter via email, written and signed by Exec. Director Sue Gardner. This email specifically invites donors to contribute as editors, if interested. Using a campaign query string, we directed English-speaking donors to signup. (Previously they were directed to Wikipedia:Introduction). The relevant portion of the email is:

There are resources that can help you <a href="">get started</a>.

We do not expect that this population of donors will have a particularly high conversion rate to editing, though many of them may in fact register. However, we are confident directing users there when the new onboarding experience is launched.

Experiment 2: Banner campaign following the fundraiser[edit]

Status:    Done

Since they have met most of their financial goals for 2012, the fundraising team used the remainder of the annual campaign to thank donors and raise awareness about who Wikipedians are, and the fact that readers/donors can join them. Dropdown banners included video about editors, and an invitation to create an account.

Preliminary data and analysis at /Thank You campaign

Experiment 3: Email followup campaign[edit]

Status:    In progress

When they have successfully donated, individuals are invited to take a one-page survey about their experiences. At the end of the survey, recent donors were asked, "Would you like to receive information on how to edit Wikipedia?". We plan to contact these individuals and invite them to learn how to edit Wikipedia.

See: Email campaign


  1., see notes E and F circa Nov/Dec 2012
  2. "I am a donor or want to donate." was 575 (9.50%) out of respondents 6027 to Research:Post-registration editor survey