SheFunds

Empowering women around the world through art & philanthropy

Overview

Last year in 2020, I collaborated with two talented friends, Unzi Park (back-end developer) and Grace Noh (UX designer in 2020, front-end developer in 2021), to build SheFunds in honor of International Women’s Month. SheFunds started as a website where you could donate to nonprofits supporting women and receive limited edition merchandise for your donations.

This year in 2021, we decided to re-launch SheFunds with new improvements to our product in order to broaden our impact, which I'll describe below.

Timeline

Dec 2020—Present

Role

Product Design Lead & Art Director: user experience and interface design, user research, prototyping, social media asset creation, art direction, project management as artist group leader

Context & Recap of Last Year

Why Did We Create SheFunds?

Back in 2020, SheFunds started with a simple mission to help existing nonprofits that support women. We had three main reasons why:
  1. Lack of exposure:
    Today, people who wish to donate to causes supporting women cannot because they lack exposure to different types of women nonprofits
  2. Lack of information:
    People who are willing to donate lack information about issues women face today and the tangible impact that nonprofits have
  3. Lack of incentive:
    People who are capable of donating don’t see enough incentive to spend time and money donating nonprofits that support causes they care about.
If you're curious about our process last year, please read this medium article written by the brilliant Grace Noh.

Our Solution in 2020

With these problem statements in mind, we decided to create a platform that increases exposure to nonprofits, provides information to help donors make informed donations, and incentivizes donations through special rewards.

Our Impact in 2020

With the tremendous amount of support from our donors in 2020, together we:
  • Raised $2,556 USD, of which 100% of profits went directly to the nonprofits in our directory
  • Distributed merch to 62 donors as a thank you for their donation
  • Donated to 16 different nonprofits supporting women.
For full transparency, please view our 2020 records.

A few screenshots on how our donors received and sported their SheFunds merch in 2020.

SheFunds in 2021

Upon concluding our 2020 campaign, my teammates and I decided to take our learnings, analyze our shortcomings, and re-launch an improved version of SheFunds for International Women's Day in 2021.

We had several ambitions for year 2021, including redefining the vision, building a high-performing website that can permanently be up and running, increasing donation conversion, improving post-donation flow, and further developing relationships with nonprofits.

A retro on our 2020 campaigns

Out of all our ambitions, my personal main areas of focus were to:

  1. Revise and improve both the product and donation flows to drive more donations.

  2. Generate a refreshed visual brand to better embody our vision as a human and art-centered organization.

The Problem (2021 edition)

To improve the donation conversion and experience from last year,

How might we reduce the cognitive load for users to donate easily, yet provide enough information about the nonprofits they're donating to? What type of information is essential?

Given our desire to use SheFunds as a platform for discovering both nonprofits and artists,

How might we frame our rewards in our donation flow to deliver a meaningful donating experience?

The Solution

A donation platform where donors can learn about a handful of impactful nonprofits supporting women, and discover a group of independent artists who have curated artwork specifically for a nonprofit of their choice. This artwork is gifted to the donors, and 100% of profits go to the nonprofit organizations.

SheFunds is a curated directory of nonprofits that focuses on presenting quality over quantity,

We decided to feature only 5 nonprofits we felt extremely confident about this year. This allowed us to spend more time evaluating each nonprofit through our improved vetting process, which includes checking annual reports for impact, scrutinizing finances to make sure funding is directed back to programs, and confirming the nonprofit has a strong rapport and voice within their fields.

We also only included information that would help users feel compelled to donate, including personal stories, key statistics, and high-level summaries of the nonprofit's impact.

Makes the user's impact explicit prior to and during the donation step,

To leave no room for doubt, we emphasized where the money is going and how it's being used across key points in the user journey. We diversified the methods this information is presented to the user by utilizing direct copy, graphs, and helpful reminders when donating.

Up-levels donation steps,

Given the buried donation flow was an issue last year, this year's platform clearly states donation steps in several points of the flow and up-levels the donate button as the main call to action.

And upgrades the incentive to donate through exceptional artwork.

This year, SheFunds partnered with 11 amazing independent artists around the nation to a) represent a variety of artistic talent, b) use this platform to help donors discover artists, and c) further incentivize donors to donate. These artists curated artwork specifically for our nonprofits, and this artwork is gifted to our donors. Ultimately, these artist partnerships have shaped our overall donation model and philosophy as an organization that hopes to be a home for good, honest work.

Design System

Artwork Created by Our Artists

Social Media Assets

Our Impact

Coming Soon

SheFunds just launched on International Women's Day (March 8th) and plans to run throughout March. Check it out at www.shefunds.live and stay tuned for updates on our impact this year :-)

Reflections

Encountered a significant pain point in our UX flow

After I found that our users weren’t expecting a shopping experience from a donation site, I switched up the model to donation buckets, where $25 would equal to 1 artwork, $35 would be 2, and so on. Since each artwork is specific to a nonprofit, the donation page asked the user to choose a nonprofit first, and then their artwork. This meant that users could not select different artworks for different nonprofits, which turned out to be one of the major pain points during this 2021 campaign.

This is something we anticipated, but our team had agreed that the feature to donate to multiple nonprofits at once wouldn’t be in our MVP. Additionally, one design efficiency we decided to take this year due to time constraints on the engineering side was not adding a cart, which meant we were potentially further away from being able to implement the multi-add feature. However, I recognize that this is an important last step that could thoroughly affect the user experience, so I will be prioritizing this problem for our next campaign in 2022.

The artist community is... amazing

While collaborating with our 11 artists, I found our interactions and vision to be empowering. Not only did our artists create wonderful work for their chosen nonprofits, they also donated this work to SheFunds willingly. Several other artists also reached out to our team during March saying they wanted to contribute art to our initiative—and we are so thankful. Although this year we tried adding each artist's Venmo information upon checkout, I would like to work on finding a way for artists to receive compensation for next year, while still remaining true to our mission of donating 100% of profits to our nonprofits.

I have also personally learned so much from managing this group of artists, and will soon be asking for their feedback to improve my skills as the group leader.