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Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity – 420% Conversion Rate Increase! 17 March 2014 | Ania Kitowska

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC), one of the biggest non-governmental charities in Europe, holds an annual Grand Finale, during which people raise money for live-saving medical equipment.

One of the ways to support the charity is to donate money online. In 2014, $300,000 was donated via GOCC website. It is a 420% increase from last year, when the charity gathered online a little over $70 000 with approximately the same number of visitors as in 2014. This conversion increase was facilitated by Usability Tools, though implementing changes based on the findings.

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity supports medical institutions

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity supports medical institutions


The hypothesis behind the tests was that users have trouble finding the online donation options on the website, as they were not prominently featured on the main page.

This hypothesis was soon supported by was soon supported by Web Testing. The GOCC asked the respondents to find a page where they can donate money online. Only 44% of respondents were able to complete the task.

Only 44% of respondents were ablle to complete the task

Only 44% of respondents found the online donations subpage

To further understand users’ problems and motivations,  the Great Orchestra used Feedback Form and Survey . Surprisingly, 80% of 20 217 respondents who completed the survey claimed that the website’s organization is completely understandable for them.

645 feedback forms submitted by website’s visitors were also very favorable. These opinions stood in contrast to the Web Test results. They can, however, be explained by the popularity bias – since the GOCC is an extremely likable charity brand, users tend to ignore the technical issues and focus on their overall positive feelings towards the Great Orchestra.

Looking for objective data based on actual user behavior patterns, the GOCC used Click Tracking script. It soon became obvious that the website’s biggest weakness was the subpage describing different methods of supporting the charity. This subpage was placed at the bottom of the menu structure and heatmaps showed that only a few people clicked there:

The subpage “How to support” didn’t attract users’ attention

The subpage “How to support” didn’t attract users’ attention

People behind the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity wanted to make it easy for their users to donate money online, after all each donation helps support the great cause so they decided to implement small but effective changes.


The first step was to change the page placement in the menu structure. Now, it’s a second label from the top, which makes it much more visible.

The textual content on the online donations page was replaced with clickable graphics that describe different methods of payment in a friendly manner:

Engaging graphics helped increase the conversion rate

Engaging graphics helped increase the conversion rate

For the Grand Finale weekend, 4 most popular ways of online donations were featured on the main page and gathered a lot of visitors’ interest:

The website saw 420% conversion rate increase

The website saw 420% conversion rate increase

Another conclusion from Click Tracking tests was that people seemed to ignore a banner on the main page with the title “Support” on it. People at the Great Orchestra decided to go with simply “Pay Online”. The new banner with direct copy attributed for many donations during the Grand Finale. Seeing its success, the GOCC decided to keep the banner online and to this day people are donating money for this great cause.


In 2014, the GOCC gathered almost $300,000 via their website, which is a 420% conversion rate increase from last year. We’re always proud when entrepreneurs achieve great results with UsabilityTools, but in case of the Great Orchestra, the money makes real difference. Here, gathering extra $230,000 is, literally, a matter of life and death.

The communication of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is very distinctive. We are aware of specific tools and certain marketing trends but we try to maintain a cohesive message in our activities and image, which stands on colors, fun, visual richness or to put it shortly – rock’n’roll. Our fundraising activities are mostly based on informing rather than encouraging to donate money. This was the idea behind our website.

We were aware that we could have more donations, but we didn’t want to overwhelm visitors with financial requests.

Thanks to UsabilityTools, the tests that we performed and the changes we introduced, we’ve managed to find the proverbial golden mean. People, who want to support us financially have easier access to online payments but, at the same time, we are able to keep this message in accordance with our overall communication. This is the biggest success for us!

Anna J. Orzech Marketing Communications Specialist

Ania Kitowska

Written by Ania Kitowska

When she is not writing content for our page she is talking about her hometown. Strongly convinced that every movie is based on Dostoevsky’s novels and not afraid to blog about it.

  • Monika Pal

    Great article, thanks for this information

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