The Spring

I was lead the product designer to build charity water’s monthly giving product. So far, monthly giving as a product had been ignored since we launched it in 2013. We believed that this product could evolve to be charity: water’s most valuable donation platform because it allows us to forecast donations and plan ahead. 


At the beginning, charity: water’s monthly giving
product was just a check box on a donation form. 


My first task was to understand the current experience of monthly giving on the website. How can you sign up? What do you get in return? What are the different states a user’s account could have after sign up (activating, failed, rejected and cancelled). Once I outlined the flows I led an inception brainstorm for our team of engineers and CTO to find the gaps in our product.


Our next phase was to build an actual product. Users needed to manage their own subscriptions, change their payment amounts and types. Before users were only able to manage their subscriptions by calling into our support team- not a great experience.

Users were now able to edit their subscriptions
without having to email customer service.

Looking at retention:

I worked with our data analyst and product marketing manager to better understand the current lifecycle of our monthly givers and we learned that our retention rates were averaging at 6 months. We began to tackle our retention problem in two parts: failure processing and impact reporting. A large percentage of our subscribers credit cards were failing and they had stopped subscribing with out even realizing it. We mapped out all the different failure flows for Stripe, Old Paypal, Paypal via Credit card and Paypal in order to understand where we could begin outreach.


Before you only heard from us with a monthly tax reciept.
Now you get a monthly update on the impact you’re making.


In addition to sending out payment failure notifications we also added an option to sign up via ACH by linking directly to their bank account. The UK has seen a lot of success with recurring giving via direct deposit and we are hoping that this will increase retention. 


Optimizing prefill amounts:

charity: water frequently uses a $30 prefill amount because it takes an average of $30 to bring one person clean water. It's an easy number for people to get behind. Throughout the year we are constantly testing different donation amounts to better optimize our single time donations for different parts of the year. For monthly giving we were curious what would bring more people into the funnel and what amount would encourage a higher final donation. On our homepage we are testing $30 vs $60.  On our post campaign donation flow we are beginning to design an experiment that would prefill 50% of the donors previous donation. Excited to report back on results soon! 


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