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Case Study: How Autism Speaks Increased Donations By 15%

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Case Study: Autism Speaks

Non-Profits Donation Recovery

How Autism Speaks Increased Donations By 15%

Did you know there’s a simple way to reengage prospects ready to donate to your cause? Wouldn’t you love the chance to increase your online donations by >10% with automation? Cart abandonment emails is a strategy that has been used in the retail industry for years, but up until recently has not been as widely tested in the nonprofit industry. In their Light It Up Blue Campaign, Autism Speaks employed the use of LassoBack platform for “donation form abandonment,” to recapture interested donors who started to fill out the donation form and left before completing it.

Bottom-line results


Donations recovered through LassoBack


Donation recovery amount higher than abandoned value


People that started a donation and abandoned

The Challenge

Why Did Autism Speaks Choose to Deploy a Donation Form Abandonment Campaign?

Autism Speaks created a beautiful and functional website giving visitors the ability to register and/or donate to be a part of the Light It Up Blue efforts to spread autism awareness and acceptance. The site received many visitors and generated interest with members of the autism community and beyond. While previous Light It Up Blue campaign results were adequate, Autism Speaks wanted to increase donations by reestablishing rapport with visitors who did not complete the donation forms on their site. Utilizing LassoBack technology from OpenMoves, they implemented the functionality on their site to reengage donation form abandoners with friendly, timely and helpful email messages.


“We were able to recover thousands of dollars in potentially lost donation revenue using the donation abandonment tool from OpenMoves.”
– Peter Pugliese, eFundraising Manager at Autism Speaks

How Does a Donation Form Abandonment Campaign Work?

The average donation form abandonment rate is 50-70% in the nonprofit industry ( Donation abandonment campaigns seek to recapture these individuals by remarketing to them through personalized automated emails leveraging contact information gleaned from partially filled out forms. Keeping this in mind, campaign forms should be designed with the email address at the top of the form to ensure that this important information is retrieved prior to abandonment (which typically happens at the credit card fields). Automated emails are then deployed based on a predetermined time period depending upon each visitor’s behavior on your website; typically the first email within 30 min and a second and third a few days apart. The process is personalized to deploy emails at the right time to be the most relevant and effective for each prospect. Once an abandoner returns to the site and completes the donation, they will not receive any more emails. .


What Were The Results?

The donation form abandonment campaign ran simultaneously throughout the month of April (Autism Awareness Month). During this time, Autism Speaks was able to reengage hundreds of prospective donors to generate 15% additional donations through the donation abandonment emails. An interesting phenomenal was that abandoners that came back to the site and donated did so at a higher amount than they originally had in the cart. Overall, 15% of the abandoners were recovered and donated 3X of the original abandoned donation value!

Peter Pugliese, eFundraising Manager at Autism Speaks, said “We were able to recover thousands of dollars in potentially lost donation revenue using the donation abandonment tool.” The results proved that this strategy has much to offer the nonprofit industry in providing a method to increase donations and registrations by redirecting warm leads and previous visitors back to your site.

Donation Form Abandonment Conversion Funnel

  • Donation Abandoners: 24%
  • Donations Recovered through Campaign- 15%
  • Recoveries were at 45% of total abandoned value

Should More Nonprofits Use Automated Donation Abandonment Emails?

Innovative strategies like donation form abandonment can greatly improve the conversion rate of site visitors to donors and at a nominal cost. At first it may seem daunting to implement if you don’t have the bandwidth to manage the process, buttechnology providers like OpenMoves make it extremely easy and do all the heavy lifting so to make the campaign a success. For this campaign, OpenMoves supported Autism Speaks through the whole campaign set up process and providing Autism Speaks with LassoBack tracking code and creating and testing the automated emails–their concern for adding more personnel. Once the donation form abandonment software is set up, each message is automatically deployed and there is no additional work required. With the detailed analytics available on the LassoBack platform, the return on investment (ROI) for a donation form abandonment campaign is easy to measure. You can see exactly how many visitors abandoned the donations form and how many came back to your site through the LassoBack emails and the exact dollar amount of increased donations as a result of the campaign.

Like Autism Speaks, most nonprofits are constantly searching for ways to increase online donations and generate more interest in their causes. Since donation form abandoners have already shown interest in your cause and have already visited your site, they are the most effective audience to target for conversion for your next successful campaign.

Learn more on how LassoBack can help your nonprofit click here.

If you’d like more information on Autism Speaks please click here.

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