Donate — A community for giving

Giving back has always been a personal goal of mine; this has naturally led me to notice the existing problems in the online charity donations market. I thought I would write up my thoughts on the process I followed and the design solutions I came up with. This is by no means a perfect answer, so constructive feedback on the viability of this concept is always appreciated!

The Problem

Giving back online can be challenging nowadays. From observation, there exists three fundamental roadblocks to finding an optimal solution:

  1. A lack of engagement, mostly due to bad product implementation that don’t make the experience worthwhile.
  2. Narrowed and scattered alternatives that prevent easy access to multiple charities at once, thus resulting in mental fatigue from the part of users.

The Process

After thoroughly looking into these issues and the available offerings on the market, I came about the following conclusion: That creating a platform for donations should provide the best answer to the previously mentioned problems.

Donate / Wireframe
  1. Second and as importantly, if expectations regarding any of my hypothetical solutions would be verified.
Donate / Potential Users

The Solution

The vision for Donate can be summarized as becoming “the go to, mobile first network for online donations”.

  • Private Funds are those run by wealthy philanthropists, the most common example that comes to mind is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Piggyback offerings by lack of a better term, are smaller initiatives that piggyback on others. While very encouraging, they unfortunately lack significant traction to make them viable enough. I personally just recently discovered such services like Charity Miles, TinyGive or Charitweet.

Product Overview

Before we dive into the features, I just wish to share a quick video of the overall flow and interactions:


As mentioned earlier, Donate has the main goal of creating awareness on top of fueling monetary donations.

Donate / Search
Donate / Categories
Donate / Recommended NPOs
  • More importantly, based on subjects at the forefront of global news that need special attention, such as recent natural disasters, humanitarian reliefs to specific conflicts and so on. Those initiatives are created with a specific timeline in mind thus the importance of pushing the content when appropriate.
  • Finally, based on popular trends on the platform itself. If a specific NPO gathers more attention through followers and better content, it should then be featured. This is tricky however as it can marginalize the lesser known initiatives which need as much attention as the big ones.


The home tab lets customers interact with content shared by the organizations they follow. As I’ve stressed up to this point, Donate is first and foremost designed around raising awareness prior to the actual act of financial contribution.

Donate / Paid Contribution
Donate / Home Interactions


Profiles on Donate are pretty straightforward and come in two forms: nonprofits and users/customers.

Donate / NPO Profile
Donate / User Profiles


The activity section on Donate is divided in two parts: Following and Notifications.

Donate / Activity

User Growth

This brings us to a fundamental point: Getting users on board. The only way I envision that concept to become feasible is through extensive initial promotion.

Donate / Growth Model Values
Donate / Growth Model Table
Donate / Growth Model Projections


I am merely scratching the surface of Donate through this post. In due time, there are a few things I’d like to explore further, to name a few:

  1. How to make use of existing APIs (Facebook & Twitter) to help kick-start content in the starting phases.
  2. Developed product roadmap (local donations, better interactions etc.)

Product Designer >

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