Downtown Eastside Women's Center

Inspiring millennials to donate through a website redesign

Produced an innovative, targeted solution for millennials to donate to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center through excellent communication and teamwork with 2 other teammates. The purpose was to inspire millennials to increase their donations to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center

Project Overview

1 week
Project type
Design Sprint
UX & UI Designer
designed for
tools used
Figma, Google slides

We were given this general “How might we…” question: “How might we help social impact organizations express their value, and inspire people to take action in order to drive positive change?” In a group of 3 we were able to divide and conquer a design sprint within a week, developing a solution to inspire millennials to donate to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center.

To be able to complete the sprint in time, I completed the following tasks during the stages of our design sprint:

Tasks completed:

  • Setting goals
  • Secondary research
  • Primary research
  • Sketching
  • Storyboarding
  • User testing
  • Design prioritization
  • Design revisions


First of all, why did we choose to focus on increasing donations through millennials?

Total of
$10.6 billion
donated in 2020
Donors decreased
continuing a decline that started in 2011
over 1/5th
of Canada's population

BUT most donations are made by older donors (aged 65+) because millennials don’t have as much to give

Behaviour of millennials towards donations

According to "Charitable Impact"


Critical they trust the organizations they are donating to and the charity has a compelling mission or cause


Being transparent is vital to engaging millennial employees

Why focus on the DEWC?

Women face unique barriers:


Almost 60% of women say they’ve faced discrimination because of their gender

Low incomes

According to the Low Income Measure, 10% of women in Canada live on low incomes

Physical/sexual violence

Over half have experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 16

Downtown Eastside Women's Center (DEWC)'s mission:

Provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for women who live and/or work in the downtown east-side

Comparing the donation experience

Set donation amounts
Thank you message
Tax receipt option
Donation frequency
Donate to specific area
​ At the top
​ At the top
Provides donors the option to get a tax receipt
Lines on the form are close together
Option to donate one-time vs monthly is midway through the form
Option to send donation to specific area is midway through the form
Other websites
​ At the top
​ At the top
Provides donors the option to get a tax receipt
Large headings with clear division of sections
Option to donate one-time vs monthly at the top
Option to donate to a specific area at the top

Donation website must-haves

Single form so donors don’t have to put too much effort in submitting their donation

Clear headings that separate different areas on the form

Thank you message clear on the form

Option for a tax receipt

Option to set donation amount, one-time vs monthly and donate to specific areas at the top


To increase donations provided by millennials towards the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Primary Research

I created a clear interview script consisting of mainly open ended questions. From there, we each interviewed 3 millennials who may or may not have made donations to a charity in the past. 3 themes arose from the interviews:


“Donors appreciate knowing their donation is going towards a specific person or group of people as it gives them a specific picture of who they are helping”

Donation impact

“Donors want to know that no matter the amount, their donation is making a difference towards a specific cause.”

Charity awareness

“Donors do not have time to research specific charities and rely on social media or friends to bring awareness to reliable charities to donate to.”

A majority of our interviewees mentioned pain points, motivations, and behaviors surrounding “transparency” and “donation impact”. As a result, we decided to base our solution primarily on “donation impact” while incorporating transparency into it.

Here, a new HMW question was born:

How might we inspire millennials to donate to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre through demonstrating the impact they can have on the work the charity does?

Choosing a target

The personification of the problem

While my groupmates developed the target selection mapping, I refined the persona we decided on.

Meet Britney


Going back to the must haves

We returned to our competitor analysis to decide on features we wanted for the website.

Home page:

  1. More visuals on the "About us" section
  2. Clear headers throughout the website - to allow users to easily scan each section and focus on the sections they need
  3. Big buttons with clear CTAs to allow opportunities to donate to specific areas
  4. A well defined form and colour palette throughout the website

Donation page:

  1. Option to cover taxes - provide donors the option to cover taxes and make it clear how much the tax would be
  2. Have different options for payment
  3. Frequency of donations - option to donate monthly or make it a one-time donation at the top of the form
  4. Donate in honor of someone else - easily identifiable and at the top of the form
  5. Tab menu - making a navigation tab bar with different sections for the donation form
  6. Amount to donate - option to have different donation amounts at the top of the form
  7. Share on social media - have a well designed photo for people to share on social media to attract more donors

Going back to the theme

In addition to the features we found from our competitive analysis, we also wanted to include these features to give millennials like Britney the transparency they look for as well as show the donation impact any amount they donate will achieve.

  1. Use a real item or specific ideas of what a certain amount of money can provide on the home page
  2. Indicate somewhere on what the impact the gift will make on an individual's life
  3. Have testimonies of people who have been impacted by DEWC on the home page
  4. Indicating that even a small amount would make a difference because it would add up to a larger amount later on
  5. Having donations classified as gifts - again, to provide donors a specific way of how their donation will make an impact on someone's life

break time!

Take a break to learn more about what the DEWC does...

"Herstory in Focus 2022 is the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre’s 6th annual gala, aiming to raise support and awareness for the work of DEWC and celebrating the strength and resilience of the women we serve." - DEWC Newsletter, 2021. Shown in the above photos is Elder Lousia (left) and Larissa (right) share a hug after performing at Herstory in Focus 2020. Go to their website or read this newletter to learn more about how you can make a difference.


Pencil to paper

While my group mate developed the solution sketch from our variety of sketches, I developed the storyboard with another group mate. This would be the journey our persona Britney would go through:

Britney's journey in storyboard form


UI Inspo to prototyping

Based on that we started building our prototype. We wanted to play with new and existing colors of DEWC’s brand while adding a bit of yellow to symbolize hope and cheerfulness. We wanted women who visited the website to feel welcomed and get a sense that they would be safe.

So, we decided on the typeface “Prata & Lato” and developed the following colour palette.


Mapping the changes

After completing user testing, we found these change that could be made, in order of prioritization and mapped it to determine which changes were priority.

After I completed the majority of the presentation slide deck, I helped to implement these changes.

The Finale

Final prototype

And in the end, this was our final product, along with our compelling presentation.

Key Learnings

Don’t have too many options - users got overwhelmed when there were too many CTAs on the home page, even though they all accomplished the same task

It was helpful to know that we only needed 2 of the same CTAs on the home page to accomplish the same task of getting users to donate.

Continue to remember the problem space, theme, and goal to keep us on track and ensure we were developing a solution that was clear.

What's next?

Add more icons to allow users to easily scan the text/website

Have options for different types of posts for users to share on social media

Further user testing with updated prototype

Next project

Zara Home - heuristic evaluation

See next project >