Merlin, a Friendly Giving Wizard

Giving forms should eliminate friction because people are more likely to give on simple forms. We built the best giving experience that is engineered to grow your giving.

Optimizing Form Completion

For years, we've said, "People Give More on Simple Forms." Studies back this up. One study found asking for a phone number field decreased the number of donations by 42.6%. [0]

We've taken the latest research in e-commerce and in online giving and optimized a form that makes it easy for people to give. Did you know that 23% of people will abandon forms are that are too long and complicated? [1]

Check out giving on Merlin and compare it with the experience of first time givers has on your own site. Which is easier?

Convert One-time Givers into Recurring Givers

All the research shows that recurring givers give more over a year and stay givers for more years. We live in a society where people are used to subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime and more. It only makes sense that giving follow the same model where you can set it up and not have to remember to login and make a payment. This convenience also has the effect of increasing the amount donated. One study found that recurring givers give 42% more than those who give one time gifts. Another study found that recurring givers are 7 times more likely to continue to be givers after 1 year than those who don’t set up recurring giving.

Our forms nudge, suggest and celebrate setting up recurring giving.

Cover the Fee

Imagine if half the donors covered the processing fee associated with online giving. That's the reality for most customers who turn on this feature - effectively halving the cost. Donors want the convenience of online giving and when given the option to cover the fee associated with this convenience, most do. We live in a society where there are convenience fees for paying bills online, buying tickets online and paying for tuition. People are willing to pay so that they don’t have to look for their checkbook, go to the ATM to get cash or figure out some other way to give. We give that option and it helps churches effectively get the entire gift.

Apple Pay
Google Pay

One of the main reasons for online giving is convenience for the donor. Looking up your credit card number or bank account and routing number is inconvenient and may result in abandoning the giving process. Being able to complete the giving process with the click of a button rather than entering 16 digit, an expiration date, a cvv code, name and email address, makes the giving process quicker and easier, which results in more completions. We've found that those that have this option available complete the giving process at a significantly higher rate than what fund raising experts expect. (M+R Benchmark Study)

Tailored Suggested Amount

The whole point of buttons is to save the donor the hassle of entering an amount. But the buttons miss the point if the numbers are too high or too low. We solve this dilemma by using machine learning to present amounts based on the donor. Are you someone that historically gives $1000, then you’ll have a range of buttons that has that amount in the array of numbers presented. Someone who gives $25, then that will be in the array presented. How a donor feels about what you’re asking will impact what they give. We adjust that amount dynamically to take this into consideration.