As an Australian charity organisation transitioned from child sponsorship to community sponsorship, retaining existing sponsors became a core objective.
My challenge as a UX designer was to design a personalised landing page that would connect sponsors to the districts they are newly supporting, and to reassure them that they can make an impact to not only one child but to the broader community.
Fostering a personal connection with the community
One of the main reasons child sponsorship worked so well is because sponsors could feel a personal connection with the child they were sponsoring.
In order to maintain the feeling of a one-to-one relationship that existed while sponsoring a child, communities were personified by representing them through their respective development managers. As updates and photos are posted by a single person who represents the community in a social media-like manner, supporters were better placed to feel connected personally.
On top of the photos, videos, and family stories that were featured on the landing page, street view maps and local weather widgets were placed prominently so that sponsors could feel like they are there and part of the community.
Communicating tangible impact
One of the most common reasons for child sponsors to leave community sponsorship was because it is hard for them to imagine that they could make a difference to an entire community.
To address this, community goals and field projects were communicated clearly – not only on a high level (e.g. Improve access to essential health services), but unpacked granularly to tangible actions (e.g. Set up an ambulance service for pregnant women and newborns; Conduct four community awareness sessions on family planning so that parents can make more informed decisions about healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies).
Focusing on communities’ lifestyle updates
Community goals are not achievable in a short period of time. But sponsors need to see progress to feel their contribution is making a difference.
Rather than reporting on project milestones and percentage updates, the focus was made on lifestyle improvements of the people living in the communities. Progress updates were designed so that sponsors can see how their contributions are changing families’ everyday life, and as a whole increasingly creating positive impact.