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Little Droplets & Big Ripples

Little Droplets & Big Ripples were the final concepts presented at the end of a one week sprint, held by innovation consultancy Fahrenheit 212. This sprint was held during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the height of national protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020. 

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Service

Design Research, Innovation Strategy, Idea Development, UI/UX Design

Client

Vera Institute of Justice (mock)

Year

2020​

Teammates

João Campos, Samar Ahsan, Kiara Boboff

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Vera is beholden to government funding, which can be cut at any time.

We were tasked with helping Vera grow its private & individual fundraising efforts and elevate its donor experience, to stabilize the organization against government funding uncertainty.

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2020 saw the rise of a new, powerful group of consumers: social media activists.

2020 saw the Black Lives Matter movement gain traction on a massive scale, following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. In conjunction with 70% increased internet usage as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine, social justice organizations saw unprecedented levels of online donations. Bail funds raised $90M in donations in two weeks in June, and ActBlue raised $41M on Blackout Tuesday (June 2).

Because of its decades-long history and commitment to results, Vera is highly respected by activists, corporations, and lawmakers.

However, Vera fails to make a connection with regular, small-value donors.

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1%

4x

10x

Only 1% of Vera’s budget is dedicated to fundraising.

Vera receives 4x less from individuals than they do from corporations.

Vera receives 10x less from individuals than they do from the government.

Vera treats individual donations like corporate donations.

When I donated to Vera, I got a follow-up thank you email about taxes. Small donors want to follow the impact that their money creates, not a little tax break.

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Channel impassioned moments into cyclical small-donor relationships.

Impassioned: quick gut-feeling responses to injustices

Cyclical: reframing the moment of donation not as the end of the donor journey but as the beginning of something greater

Relationships: turning passive donors into stakeholding activists who are personally and financially invested in Vera’s success

Riding the

Gut-Feeling

Capitalize on moments of passion to connect new activists with opportunities to take small but immediate action.

Continuing the Journey

Encourage one-time donors to chart their own paths of action within a multi-issue organization.

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Return on

Donation

Build the post-donation experience in a way that adds value to a donor’s continued relationship with Vera.

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Little

Droplets

We designed a social microdonation platform that harnesses the power of collective action. As an answer to the workarounds used by grassroots donors to pool small donations in Venmo and the Cash App, Little Droplets makes daily microdonations as instant and easy as checking your email.

Consumer Insight

Commercial Insight

Donors are constrained by limited resources: they care about many causes but have to choose between them. They will only donate when prompted by urgency and emotion.

It's more sustainable to get $1 from a million people than a million dollars from one corporation. When it comes to social justice fundraising in 2020, the power of the dollar lies more with GoFundMe than with Goldman.

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Social Feed

Check out where your friends are donating for inspiration, and share your own actions to show you’re doing your part. 

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Causes Board

Learn about the day’s most pressing issues that are relevant to your donation patterns. Donate to the ones you feel strongly about.

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Profile

Keep track of how your past donations have made a difference. Get to know your own donation patterns.

Spotify Wrapped, but make it social justice.

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A donor's journey does not end when they donate! We designed an educational post-donation platform that provides exclusive justice-related content every month, allowing you to take your activism one step further with access to webinars with Vera partners.

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Consumer Insight

Commercial Insight

Donations are still transactions: people donate because they care about a cause, but also expect some form of acknowledgement or recognition for their good deed.

Retaining a donor is a lot easier than capturing a new one. Adding value to the donor experience over time allows us to get more out of our fundraising spend.

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Leveraging

Corporate

Partners

Big Ripples allows Vera to make use of their existing corporate relationships to bring in guest celebrities and thought leaders to host exclusive events and elevate the small donor experience. 

For me, this design sprint was an exercise in rapidly applying innovation strategy and idea development to transform a business model in a week. Ultimately, Little Droplets and Big Ripples are effective because of their intersectional cultural positioning, at the heart of the BLM movement and post-pandemic consumer trends.

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