HX Applied: Creating a Record-Breaking Charity Fundraising Platform

1 minute read

Apolinar was engaged by an international charity to help them modernise their website and make it fit for purpose in line with their fundraising aspirations. 

The previous site had become unsatisfactory in several regards, but in particular it’s wide ranging functionality meant no more than 70 users could sit concurrently on the platform without crashing it.

Given that at the peak of a fundraising event hundreds of people might be trying to donate, this situation had become unsustainable. The entire technology stack had to be re-platformed, including its donation funnel.

Because third party platforms such as givealittle.com take a donor as their own and capture their data, it would also be necessary to build a tailored solution for the client to integrate with the organisation’s CRM and finance systems, from scratch.

Furthermore, physically collected manual donations would need to become digitally visible, properly allocated to their rightful campaigns for donation integrity and financial transparency. 


The Process

Apolinar conducted product research, reviewing best practice examples from other not-for-profit organisations. Using HX, a 5-Day Co-Design Sprint revealed a number of issues. In particular, the client was requesting a platform for one eight-week campaign. The deeper, more strategic thinking of HX allowed for the creation of a platform that would handle many, concurrent campaigns.

There was an urgent need to build a web platform that could handle multiple campaigns, right across the course of a calendar year, which would also allow for third parties to personalise the private campaigns they ran in the charity’s name.

The Co-Design Sprint resulted in a functioning platform prototype ready for user testing on day five, and made donation possible on mobile. Given the majority of fundraising participants were often teenagers, this new app-based functionality made a huge difference in participation. It also spread the server load onto iOS and Android apps, relieving the real-time pressure on the web server.

This HX approach totally reimagined what the platform could be and do for the client, and delivered all kinds of additional value. 


The Result

The new design abstracted away complex logic, simplifying user onboarding enormously, and resulted in a first weekend for their major fundraising campaign that smashed all previous years.

The new site allowed for personalised fundraising pages, fundraiser updates and donor comments, and connected fundraisers with donors. This in turn drove user engagement, and encouraged donations.

Online donations are now updated in real time, and are tracked on individual and team-level leaderboards, designed for a gamified experience that celebrates top fundraisers.

The HX Difference

This was a major project where HX allowed for the simplification of many complex project streams. The result allowed the client to put their focus back where it belonged - on raising money for people who need it most.

New Zealand entering COVID-19 Alert Level 4 created even greater challenges as the schools, churches, and workplaces that would normally account for manual donations were all closed.

The new Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platform was redesigned and relaunched in the first quarter of 2020, offering a world-class digital experience on any device, and allowing for credit card donations across any channel, helping mitigate the obstacles presented by COVID-19.

During a time of unprecedented challenge for the client and its supporters when other non-digital channels were unavailable, the platform achieved a 60% conversion rate for onboarding, an increase in average online donation value, and over $1.1 million was raised in total. 




Apolinar has successfully applied HX to a wide range of industry sectors, organisations, and use-cases across New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the UK. 

HX has been designed to achieve digital transformation, and as a methodology it works regardless of the size or scope of the problem, the territory or geography, the stakeholders, end-users, or customers involved. HX offers a critical, beneficial difference for organisations looking to effect digital transformation and drive competitive advantage. 


Authored by Jon Beattie

30 November 2021


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