rematch

Bridging the gap between donors and nonprofits.

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Case Study: ReMatch

Innovating a win-win workflow in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s backstage processes, simultaneously personalizing donor services offerings and funding pressing community needs.

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Defining the Problem

What is ReMatch?

Over the course of 7 months, our Capstone team partnered closely with The Pittsburgh Foundation (TPF) to find ways in which technological innovation could help promote responsible philanthropy.

Understanding our clients' space

TPF is one of the nation's largest and oldest community foundations, overseeing over 2,400 charitable funds and managing over $1.3 billion in assets. We conducted extensive research to understand exactly how TPF connects donors to the critical needs of the Pittsburgh community.

Identifying opportunity areas

While the Foundation is able to directly support nonprofits through unrestricted funding, 51% of grant dollars come from active donor-advised funds. Each year, many worthy nonprofits who apply for funding have to be declined while significant leftover grantmaking balances remain in donors' funds. We identified this as a direct opportunity to steer donor giving towards responsible philanthropy.

Reimagning internal processes

The current process of matchmaking was pushed to its limits when trying to find funding for grant applications to the Emergency Action Fund, TPF's relief fund in response to COVID-19. This money was raised in a very small time frame and without a formal process in place, so the majority of declined grants were still left unmatched. As we zeroed in on defining the problem, we used this guiding question: how can the Foundation utilize their substantial internal quantitative and qualitative data to match donors with community needs more efficiently, effectively, and systematically?

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The Solution: ReMatch

What is ReMatch?

We created ReMatch: an internal responsive web tool for community foundations which enables robust data-driven matchmaking between declined grants and donor interests.

Channelling disparate data

ReMatch aggregates donor and grant data from TPF’s various systems in one place, supplying all relevant details needed to make informed matchmaking, including comprehensive lists of grants and donors.

Proposing donor-grant matches

A specialized algorithm recommends matches of donors to grants, taking into consideration donors' past giving, coded interests, and available funds.

Enabling decisive matchmaking

Donor Services Officers are empowered to share relevant grants with their donors, promoting communication and guidance towards responsible giving.

Channelling disparate data

ReMatch aggregates donor and grant data from TPF’s various systems in one place, supplying all relevant details needed to make informed matchmaking.

PROPOSING donor-grant matches

A specialized algorithm recommends matches of donors to grants, taking into consideration donors' past giving, coded interests, and available funds.

Enabling decisive matchmaking

Donor Services Officers are empowered to share relevant grants with their donors, promoting communication and guidance towards responsible giving.

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What is ReMatch?

What is ReMatch?

Over the course of 7 months, our Capstone team partnered closely with The Pittsburgh Foundation to find ways in which technological innovation could help promote responsible philanthropy.

We landed on ReMatch: An internal responsive web tool for community foundations which enables robust data-driven matchmaking between declined grants and donor interests.

Program department add declined grants to the system

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Donor services look for matches

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TPF strategically engages donors

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How ReMatch Works

What is ReMatch?

ReMatch was designed for multiple use cases, to accommodate the diverse duties of its key users, Donor Services Officers (DSOs). Key to its functionality is making matches donor-first and grant-first.

View Interactive prototype
Key Features

ReMatch's functionality

ReMatch was designed for multiple use cases, to accommodate the diverse duties of its key users, Donor Services Officers (DSOs). Key to its functionality is making matches donor-first and grant-first.

View Interactive prototype
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Donor-first matching

Prior to ReMatch, donor-grant matchmaking was limited to grant-first matching. The Donors section of ReMatch allows DSOs to start with their donors and find relevant grants.

In addition to grant recommendations, ReMatch also shows a snapshot of the donor's details, and their matchmaking history, making it the perfect system to reference prior to an annual philanthropic review, at a moment's notice when a donor unexpectedly reaches out, or anytime DSOs need to re-familiarize themselves with their donors' interests.

Full portfolio of donors

With ReMatch, DSOs can view their full portfolio of donors.

In most cases, DSOs need to find either a specific donor or a set of donors who match certain criteria, such as interest by NTEE code. ReMatch allows DSOs to quickly search, sort, and filter through donors to increase efficiency.

Recommended grants for each donor

Within each donor’s page, DSOs can view the grants that are recommended for that donor through ReMatch's simple algorithm.

The rationale behind each grant recommendation is noted clearly, so that when DSOs reach out, they can provide personalized reasons for the recommendation. This ensures that for the donor, it doesn’t feel like an algorithm is making the recommendation. Instead, DSOs can continue to demonstrate their knowledge of the donor’s preferences, and strengthen the trust that donors have in TPF.

Detailed donor information

Comprehensive, accessible donor data assists with efficient decision-making, for which grants to send and how to send them.

Information compiled into the donor details section includes: giving history, coded philanthropic interest, preferred method of contact, average grant size, available grantmaking balance, contact reports, and more.

Matchmaking statistics

In the Match Tracking section, DSOs see both currently pending matches as well as matchmaking history.

At a glance, DSOs can check to see how receptive their donor has been in the past, including both comments about what worked or did not work as well as quick-hitting stats such as the success rate.

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Grant-first matching

But when grants need funding, especially in time-sensitive situations, a grant-first approach works best. In the Grants section of ReMatch, DSOs can find important grants and quickly see which donors are a good match.

Along with donor recommendations, ReMatch also offers detailed info from the Program department about why the grant was declined and how it aligns with TPF's mission. DSOs and the Program team alike can also track updates on the grant's funding and use the Discussion section for any comments or questions that arise during the matchmaking process.

Donor-first matching

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Grant-first matching

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Internal collaboration

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Match tracking

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Grants added by the Program team

The Grants section lists a pool of tangible grants in need of funding, added by the Program department, that DSOs can share with their appropriate donors.

After a grant has been declined for TPF funding, the Program team determines which high-impact grants help the community and pulls them into ReMatch for a second chance at donor funding. In addition to declined grants, the Program team has the ability to pull in grants that TPF has supported to help find supplemental funding.

Recommended donors for each grant

Just like the Donors section recommends grants, the Grants section shows recommended donors based on ReMatch's matching algorithm.

When the DSO’s goal is to help find funding for a grant, or group of grants, they can easily access all the grants that need funding, and then share those grants with recommended donors to guide them toward responsible philanthropy.

Progress updates on grant funding

The progress of the grant's funding is clearly indicated in the grant's top card, and further funding updates are found in the Match Tracking section.

Both DSOs and the Program department can get a quick understanding of how many donors have been engaged for a grant and how successful that engagement has been.

Discussion across departments

Within the Discussion section of a grant, DSOs can communicate with other DSOs and the program team, fostering collaboration across departments as they work toward funding a grant.

DSOs can use this section to ask questions that their donors ask them, or seek clarification on the grant details. When the Program team answers, every team member can see the discussion to ensure they are in the loop. DSOs can also keep their team  updated on anticipated funding and share what they have found helpful throughout the matchmaking process.

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Matchmaking on the go

ReMatch is a responsive web application. While it is designed primarily for Desktop use, DSOs will also be able to access the system from their mobile devices.

When a DSO is on their way to an annual philanthropic review, they will be able to reference ReMatch right before seeing their donor, to keep the wealth of information fresh in their minds. And if they receive a matchmaking response via email or phone while they are on the go, DSOs can use the mobile interface to quickly enter in the donor's response.

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My Contribution

What is ReMatch?

This project was incredibly collaborative, and our team of 5 all played a huge role in the Design and Research process.

For my specific role, in addition to Product Designer and User Researcher, I also served as the Project Lead, owning client communication and leading internal meetings, managing scoping, goal-setting, and client-facing deliverables over the course of the 7-month project. I also developed the blueprint of TPF's service offerings, leading our team to uncover leverage points in their internal processes that could heighten their external services.

Brandon Fiksel
Project Lead
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Results

What is ReMatch?

We pitched ReMatch via Zoom, presenting our design, the rollout strategy, and the system's value to an audience of over 80 attendees. Those in attendance included members of The Pittsburgh Foundations, other community foundations, and Carnegie Mellon University faculty.

Receptive, grateful clients

"You have figured out how to break down silos between departments with an easy technology that, even though it's technology, it is people focused. That only makes us stronger as a foundation... it positions us to be the go to resource for information for donors that don't realize that we have that expertise."

Director of Donor ServiceS at The Pittsburgh Foundation

Members of The Pittsburgh Foundation expressed gratitude for our work, especially highlighting how ReMatch could break down silos and promote collaboration between the Program department and the Donor Services department.

"If we could execute this in any way, it would be phenomenal. It really is amazing"

Donor Services Officer at The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Pittsburgh Foundation intend to move forward with the development of ReMatch, once they have finalized migrating the backend of their internal systems to a cloud-based framework.

A path forward for development, starting with an MVP

Along with our design deliverables (final designs, interactive prototype, style guide, functional annotations), we provided an Implementation Guide detailing the plan for development and specifying how ReMatch would work with TPF's backend databases. Here, we outlined that the first practical step for ReMatch's development is to develop the low-code algorithm that uses existing data to match donors to declined grants. This algorithm is a low-effort, high-impact minimum viable product, allowing TPF to pilot the new robust matchmaking system before frontend development.

Adoption by other community foundations

Community foundations across the country are able to take inspiration from ReMatch, due to community foundations' locally-focused and noncompetitive nature. We looped in other community foundations throughout our user research and invited donor services officers from these foundations to our final presentation. Already, we've heard from community foundations who intend to incorporate matchmaking initiatives inspired by our design.

"I was incredibly impressed by your presentation and the prototype you and your team put together for the Pittsburgh Foundation. I’m wondering if you would be willing to share the recording of your presentation... as this is something we definitely would like to do at some point in the future."

Senior Philanthropic Advisor at an external community foundation
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How ReMatch Was Made

What is ReMatch?

We utilized a variety of  generative research and evaluative research methods to ensure our solution would be effectively solving the right problem — affinity clustering, storyboarding, journey mapping, job stories, prototyping and more.

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ReMatch's Widespread Value

What is ReMatch?

ReMatch's design has the potential to positively impact every philanthropic stakeholder: TPF themselves, donors, nonprofits, and the community.

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Our Research & Design Team

What is ReMatch?

We are an interdisciplinary team of five Master of Human-Computer Interaction students from Carnegie Mellon University's HCI program, with a diversity of professional backgrounds across design, research, and tech.

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ReMatch's Value

What is ReMatch?

ReMatch was designed for multiple use cases, to accommodate the diverse duties of its key users, Donor Services Officers (DSOs). Key to its functionality is making matches donor-first and grant-first.

See the research behind ReMatch