How I decreased the bounce rate by 52.35% in 18 days for an application that facilitates the selection of beneficiaries of Poland’s important 1% Program
pozytek.ngo.pl on a screenshot

For the first few months of 2018, Polish Radio and Television ran ads encouraging citizens to transfer 1% of their income tax to public benefit organizations. The ads ended with the address pozytek.ngo.pl.

pozytek.ngo.pl featured a neglected landing page. If you delved into its contents, you could find a link to the application that was meant to help you choose the organization to transfer your 1% to. The user interface was based on a search engine. The search engine required a query (name, keyword, location, province) to display any organizations. Most of the search queries ended with the message “The number of results exceeds 100, please refine your query”. If the app had been left that way, all the effort put into advertising would have been wasted.

In 2016, over 13,000,000 Polish women and men donated 1% of their taxes to public benefit organizations. This amounts to PLN 660,000,000 (more than $178,000,000).

When I was asked to help out with pozytek.ngo.pl, it was difficult for me to refuse.


Make the website advertised on TV and radio about transferring 1% of income tax to a public benefit organization provide value


  • Decreased the bounce rate by 52.35% (44.67%, compared to 93.75% in 2017)
  • Increased user engagement (average session duration +255.81%, 1:01 compared to 0:17 in 2017)
  • The ngo.pl team felt comfortable promoting pozytek.ngo.pl


A large part of the ngo.pl’s team got involved in the project.

Patryk, an IT specialist at ngo.pl, helped me extract the necessary data from ngo.pl’s database.

At the first work meeting, there were many people who patiently answered all my questions.

Wojtek, the database keeper, helped me understand the data context. He was also invaluable in the testing of the application.

Renata, ngo.pl’s business coordinator, helped me launch the ads.

My proposed changes to the landing page were professionally edited—I’m convinced that it was done by Magda, the publisher and editor of ngo.pl, but I can’t be 100% sure.

Ula, the co‑founder and long‑time president of the association behind ngo.pl, oversaw everything.

I designed, prototyped, and coded the application and the landing page.


The constraints were standard: time, people, technology, budget. Tax returns were to be submitted by April 30, I received the email asking for help on February 6, when pozytek.ngo.pl ads were already live, and I could only help after hours. The project’s constraints necessitated compromises in search back‑end performance and the quality of returned results. The budget was nonexistent, so the technology behind the search engine had to be free.


The results were satisfactory: the bounce rate dropped (−52.35%), and the page/session ratio and average session duration increased (+70.44 and +255.81%, respectively). The ngo.pl team felt comfortable promoting pozytek.ngo.pl.

Each project is an opportunity to learn. In this project I learned, among other things, that:

  • when using the free plans of commercial SaaS tools, you need to consider traffic and actions generated by bots
  • Lunr is better than hosted SaaS search engines in some projects
  • I should have debounced changes in the text field to limit queries to the search engine right from the beginning
  • it’s a good idea to shamelessly check the statistics of the project you want to help before making a decision

It was probably the first project in my life that I think went out well, quickly, and cheaply at the same time.

Design process

If you’re interested in the design process, I encourage you to check out the article I wrote for uxdesign.cc, where I describe the formation of the new pozytek.ngo.pl in detail:

Timeline: What a short pro bono civic tech design project for a non‑governmental organization looks like


Finally, I’d like to leave you with some nice emails I received about the project:

Thanks for the changes and factual argumentation in the absence of their implementation :)

Database keeper

The website is GREAT! The new webpage is great and has a great, working database!

Co‑founder and long‑time president of the association behind ngo.pl

It’s difficult for me to find words to describe what a great pleasure and joy it is to work with you. In all the years I’ve devoted to the portal, I’ve never met anyone with such great commitment. This is extremely uplifting!

Publisher and editor of ngo.pl
Thank you for your timeEnjoy the rest of your day
© Gregory Wolanski