A case study focused on making donating to causes more user-friendly and efficient. 



This case study details the benefits and challenges of nonprofit organizations, that aim to bring global development and how we can help them achieve their goals better. Some of the major problems faced by them include generating awareness and fundraising. I aimed to dive in deeper into these problems and formulate design solutions to help such organizations function more efficiently and successfully. ‘Give’ is the result of this extensive case study. It's an app that aims to increase awareness for causes around the globe and helps them in raising funds for their cause.


•  A crowdfunding model with no minimum donation amount requirements would result in more people opting into donating for the cause. 

•  Encouraging people to pledge small amounts on a monthly basis as opposed to donating a one time sum would create a more sustainable source of capital for nonprofit organizations. 

•  Videos and online campaigns are more effective in generating awareness for causes. 

The Process

For this case study, I used Google's framework that supports divergent and convergent thinking based on the IDEO model, in attaining intuitive design solutions based on user findings. 

Research & Analysis

A large chunk of the research behind ‘Give’ was on understanding how to make charity an integral part of everyone's life. More importantly, understanding how to help someone feel morally obligated to help others in need and change their attitudes towards charity. Peter Singer’s essay — Famine, Affluence, and Morality and his utilitarian approach to ethical issues, greatly influenced this study. Singer draws out a simple principle to help people in gauging whether they hold a moral obligation to provide help to others in a moment of crisis. Apart from this, I dove deeper into understanding the nature of problems faced by charitable organizations. There is an estimated contribution of $500B/year to nonprofits globally, most of which is from the United States (Est. $389B in 2016). Although that sounds great, nonprofits still face monetary difficulties that curb their social innovation. 

I further explored how we could help in creating better awareness about causes and make this knowledge easily transferable between people. Video as medium stood out immediately as a powerful way to build empathy among people towards a cause. According to a Donor Study by Abila, the medium that inspired users the most to take action is short videos. It’s also the preferred medium to consume and understand information about causes. Short letters or articles with 2-3 paragraphs also are extremely effective in communicating information to individuals. 


1. Encourage recurring donations as opposed to one-time donations.

2. Educate donors better about the cause and increase their probability in taking an action to resolve it. 

3. Build more transparency by communicating goals and achievements of the cause. 

4. Propose design solutions and validate them. 

Exploring The Problem Space

In order to understand the scale and variety of the problems that exist in the space, it was necessary to define a few key things - 

1. Donor Types, Expectations & Pain Points

2. Organisation Types, Expectations & Pain Points

Affinity map to list out all possible solutions to help donors and nonprofits, 2*2 to prioritize ideas based on importance and personas to better understand donor expectations and pain points. 


I started out by sketching rough ideas without being bogged down by details, to figure out all the possible design solutions and then narrow them down. After which I focused on mid-level sketches to refine my solutions and filtered them down based on which solutions best resolved the predefined problems. In order to understand how a potential donor would navigate through the app to achieve a certain goal, I built task-flows with a specific end goal in mind and charted out different screens and states involved in the flow. 

Prototyping & Validating

After the ideation sprint, I began building low-fidelity prototypes using wireframes to see how my solutions were holding up against testing. It’s also a good exercise to discover directions I might not have considered earlier before diving into building higher fidelity screens and prototypes. 

Next, I built high-fidelity prototypes using Origami and Principle. The objectives here are to build a sense of space and figure out interactions across multiple screens. Higher fidelity prototypes bring forth the possibility of thinking about motion as a tool to communicate more effectively and also build a working model of the app as intended by the designer. 

The Final Product

The end objective of this case study was to build design solutions that would resolve common frustrations faced by donors and nonprofits. Give is an app that simplifies charitable giving and generates awareness about causes around the world. The principle behind the app is to change people’s attitude towards charity and help them integrate giving into their lives as a social obligation.

Enabling Discovery

Encouraging the behavior of actively discovering and contributing to causes was really important from the start. It was crucial to build an interface that was simple to navigate through and would promote exploration. Give achieves that by straying away from patterns that donors aren't too familiar with. It also provides the donor with new causes to learn about regularly. 

Generating Awareness 

Give utilizes short videos as a format to educate donors about causes. This medium has proven to be the preferred format for increasing engagement among donors. Videos are extremely effective in building empathy for the cause and also result in donors being able to recollect information about the cause better.

Showing Progress

Building on top of one of the primary goals to increase transparency, it was important to let nonprofits showcase the great work they're doing for donors to see. Reports are a great way for nonprofits to breakdown their work into phases that can be individually analysed by potential donors. It also works as a method to retain existing donors.

Inspiring Action

The core principle behind the app was to encourage individuals towards taking initiatives to solve problems. To help them identify their moral obligation and quantify their efforts. The communication across Give is crafted with the motive of always inspiring potential donors towards taking actions. 

'Eliminate polio by 2020' or 'Provide war veterans with free prosthetics' are statements that hand the baton of responsibilty towards the reader. Give also replaces lifeless CTA's such as a simple 'Donate' button to 'Make This Happen' instead. It also quantifies the efforts of donors by visualizing exactly how their funds would benefit the reciever. 


Give is a case study focused on building design solutions for improving social innovation in the nonprofit sector. The end result of the case study was an application that helps potential donors discover causes that they could support. The principle behind Give was to create a sense of social obligation among individuals to help causes that require their assistance. It was to also encourage donors to opt for recurring donations as opposed to one-time donations. 


This case study features a number of real-life nonprofits that require our support. If this project inspired you in any way, please do have a look at the great work the following nonprofits have been doing

Malaria No More, Teach For India, The Lion Whisperer, Better Africa, BitSource Tech, Warka Water, White Helmets Foundation, Concept Plastics, Gates Foundation, Build Africa, 5 Days For The Homeless, Wounded Warrior Project, Immunity Project, NAFC.

Copyright © 2017  Sreekar Pradyumna – All rights reserved