Charitable donation incentives

$25 Gift Card vs. $25 Charitable Donation – the best B2B incentive is…

The Test

I often write of the benefits of charitable donation incentives and rewards in B2B sales and marketing. For this reason, I created a test to measure which works better in terms of conversion rate.

With this in mind, to do this test I formed 2 groups;

Group A – $25 gift card

Group B – $25 charitable donation to the recipient’s charity of choice

To avoid bias, I chose similar prospects for both groups. For instance, I selected people with whom I had no 1st or 2nd degree connections on LinkedIN. I picked people with the same titles for both groups, such as “Director of IT”.

I sent emails to the prospects. The call to action was to book a meeting. I tracked how many people clicked on the link to book a meeting. As a result, I was able to determine the conversion rate.

I sent 125 emails to group A and 125 emails to group B.

The call to action was weak and only email. In B2B sales you need to touch a prospect 6-14 times before you get a reply. So my overall response rates were poor. The main goal of the test was to measure the response rates of the 2 groups. I accomplished this.

The Results

Conversion rate for group A – Gift Card = 0.4%

Conversion rate for group B – Charitable Donation = 0.76%

The conversion rate using charitable donation incentives was 1.9 times the gift card incentive.

Other Benefits of Charitable Donation Incentives

The increased conversion rate should be enough motivation to use charitable donations as incentives and rewards. Here are the other reasons that make charitable donations better than gift cards for B2B;

  1. Using charitable donations has a tax benefit. Based on your location this can be a tax credit or tax deduction of as much as 40%. A $25 gift card will cost approx. $20 – assuming volume discounts. Alternatively, a $25 charitable donation could cost as low as $15 after-tax.
  2. Emotional engagement in B2B is ever more important. You can’t get any meaningful emotions by giving your customers a gift card. Donating to your customers’ preferred cause is a good way to drive emotional engagement. You can read more here.
  3. Let your competitors give out promo items and gift cards. With this in mind, take the higher ground and differentiate by using charitable donations as incentives and rewards for your customers.
  4. Purchasing and ethical rules may prevent your customers from accepting gift cards no matter how small the value. Charitable donations are not a direct benefit to your customers and so they conform with most corporate policies.

Increase Conversion Rates

To grow your conversion rates for your B2B marketing campaigns and lead generation use charitable donation incentives and rewards. Indeed, charitable donations lead to higher conversion rates at a lower cost than alternatives such as gift cards. In short, you will differentiate from your competitors and increase emotional engagement with your customers.

Future Tests

I believe that traits will make a person more likely to accept charitable donations over gift cards. For example, looking at a person’s Myers-Briggs personality – an ISFJ because of their kindness will appreciate helping others. At any rate I will test this theory and will publish the results in a future post.

About ConnectGood Inc. – ConnectGood is a SaaS platform that sends charitable donations as customer incentives and customer rewards. The platform is fully automated, including tax receipting and credit card processing. The user chooses the amount to donate for each recipient and personalizes the message. The recipient gets to choose their favorite cause or charity. Everyone feels good using and receiving a ConnectGood! Visit for more information and to sign up now.

Bryan Socransky
Bryan Socransky
Bryan spent over 20 years selling and marketing B2B products and experienced first hand how hard and onerous the traditional sales process can be. He has personally sold over $12M in enterprise software / SaaS, exceeding his sales quota many times. Bryan was on the management team at Matrox Graphics, one of the fastest growing Canadian startups. He has worked at 6 startups and successfully launched over 15 new products. A firm believer in continuous learning, Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics / Political Science from McGill University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ottawa.