Reach My Donor

Problem

Many nonprofits don't have the same marketing resources as for-profits. As a result, they don't always know how to reach potential donors on social media.

Solution

A web applications that recommends social media platforms based on user-inputted information about the donor they're trying to reach. This also gets nonprofits thinking about who their target donor is.

Learn about
the problem
Brainstorm
solutions
Design,
test, iterate

Process

Client

Corinne Cavanaugh, President of Donor Swell

Role

UI Designer and Web Developer (most work independent, guided by client)

Methods

  • Focus Group

  • Sketching

  • Wireframing

  • Flask, Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, JS

Date

Spring 2017

Finished Product

Learning about the problem

I was hired as an intern at Donor Swell, which is a marketing agency that specifically helps nonprofits. Corinne (President) and I talked about common difficulties that nonprofits face when they're trying to spread their message and attract donors online.

Problem areas in nonprofit marketing

Brainstorm

Based on these problems, I came up with a list of concepts for tools that could address these. We narrowed these ideas down to several viable options.

We invited several nonprofit leaders to walk through our concepts and discuss how useful these would be in helping them achieve their goals, and why.

Brainstorming
Sketching

Idea - Rate their website on how easily people can donate (mobile friendly donation form, number of paths to donation page, color of button, etc.)

Sketching

Idea
Identify most important platforms to be active on based on target donor

Sketching

Idea
Rate nonprofit's website on how well it achieves organization's goals (check for a video, volunteer bios, annual report, etc)

Sketching

Idea
Show blog posts/tweets/social media outlets of similar organizations (filter by similar size, cause, location, donor, etc)

Design, Test, Iterate

The nonprofits we talked to identified the process of choosing social media platforms to be a significant pain point, since there seemed to be so many options. So I designed a tool that I thought could help.

Design Decisions

Prototypes
Wireframes
Define research underlying tool's functionality

Rationale
Nonprofit leaders said "I would only use this tool if I trusted the results."

Wireframes
Pose questions about target donor

Many nonprofits haven't thought about marketing in terms of reaching a specific target donor.

Wireframes
Focus on 3 best matches, make donor preferences transparent

Rationale
We know nonprofits have limited resources, and are likely looking for the best platforms to be on. And, as they  explore recommendations, they'll be curious how their choices in donors affect these recommendations.

Wireframes
Support comparison between demographic groups

It's difficult to know how two groups of donors might differ in the social media platforms they use.

Wireframes
Support comparison between demographic groups

The Final Product

I developed the back-end using Flask with Python. I used Bootstrap as the front-end framework. The biggest challenge was building the algorithm that ranked social media. I iterated on this mockup several times, and incorporated feedback from Corinne (President) as I went.

Finished Product

What I learned

Algorithms that recommend things are hard, and filled with assumptions. I'm not an expert in nonprofit marketing, or even marketing, so developing the algorithm that ranked the platforms was difficult. I had most success with a simple system based on basic rules. A few simple rules made it easier to adjust the behavior when I got feedback.

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