The Iterative Process
that Led to ReMatch

Solution

Welcome to ReMatch

An internal tool for community foundations that enables a robust data-driven matchmaking process between declined grants and donor interests.

ReMatch bridges the gap between donors and nonprofits.

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Research, synthesize, design, test, repeat

ReMatch’s core matchmaking design would not have been possible without the thorough foundation of generative research conducted in the first half of the project, and evaluative research helped narrow in on the right design.

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Generative Research

What is ReMatch?

To understand the problem space, we conducted countless hours of research, using a variety of methods, outlined here.

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Our methods

Semi-structured interviews, including TPF employees, donors, nonprofits, domain experts, and other community foundations

Observe & intercept Interviews, to understand Pittsburgh local's thoughts on philanthropy and community needs.

Pages of secondary research, including The Science of Giving, analogous giving domains, and resources from external community foundations

Storyboard speed dating sessions to gauge donors’ responses to a wide array of technological solutions with varying degrees of risk and to incite discussion around the use of technology in

Contextual inquiry sessions to more deeply understand TPF internal processes through first-hand observations

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After analyzing, we uncovered key insights

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Collaboration leads to responsible giving.

When people come together to discuss their philanthropy, they make better decisions because of the rationality and empathy that come through the back-and-forth of conversation.

ReMatch supports collaboration between DSOs and donors in discussing community needs. As well as supporting donor to donor collaboration through DSO facilitated group donations

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Personal connection drives meaningful donations.

As well as supporting donor to donor collaboration through DSO facilitated group donations

ReMatch helps DSOs provide Donors with recommendations that literally match the causes they have a personal connection to

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Tangible donations lead to more rewarding philanthropy

Through our research, we found that: A donors experience is most rewarding when the impact of their donation is tangible. When a donor’s experience is rewarding, they’re more likely to seek further opportunities to engage in philanthropy.

ReMatch provides DSOs with the opportunity to provide specific grant recommendations for their donors -- each grant recommendations is tied to a tangible need that exists in the community, vetted by TPF Program department. ReMatch highlights topical/current event related needs,  like current COVID-19 related grantsMoreover, ReMatch bridges the DSO team with the PO team, bringing awareness of tangible community needs to the donor-side of TPF .

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Donors cherish their personal contact with TPF

Donors value their relationships with DSOs in part because of their expertise and philanthropic guidance, but especially because of the personal human connection in an age when everyone is inundated with technology.

ReMatch does not replace the human to human interaction that occurs between DSOs and donors, but rather is designed to help them have better, more meaningful, discussions around their donors’ philanthropic effortsReMatch also brings up opportunities for DSOs to create more meaningful relationships with lower engagement donors, by showing how a more reciprocal relationship could lead to better services

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Evaluative Research

What is ReMatch?

After narrowing in on our goal of developing an internal tool for TPF, we had to expand once more. Guided by our insights, our research, and our mission, we followed our familiar iterative approach of synthesizing, modeling, ideating, designing, testing, and repeating, this time with much sharper focus.

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From low-fidelity concept testing...

Initial Concept testing

The matchmaking tracker resonated the most with the DSOs, allowing them to track the progress of a grant, get grant updates, and improve communication with the Program team

Matchmaking tracker explorations

This helped us with identifying what elements of a matchmaking tracker were most useful and helped us contextualize how a tracker could fit within the DSO workflow.

Key takeaways

A key feature for the process of matchmaking was a donor profile, to provide a snapshot of the donor and streamline the process of retrieving information that currently exists across TPF’s disparate systems.

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...To scenario-based think aloud tests

Running the think-aloud protocol

We tested our interactive prototype through 3 scenarios with each DSO at The Pittsburgh Foundation. This allowed us to get more insight into the DSOs’ thought process when they make grant recommendations to their donors currently, and ensure that the scenarios

Key takeaways

Participants valued the ability to manipulate the lists, but there was confusion between whether they wanted to sort or filter. We also saw that the number of grants DSOs send vary depending on the donor, and sometimes they may want to save a grant for later.

ProvidING Exposure

ReMatch can provide exposure for smaller local organizations that donors may not have considered otherwise.

Sparking Long-lasting partnerships

Nonprofits seek to build relationships with donors , however, many donors wish to remain anonymous. ReMatch acts as a conduit for lasting partnerships between donors and nonprofits, getting funding to nonprofits while protecting donor anonymity preferences.

Uncovering funds that would otherwise go unspent

ReMatch directs additional funding toward nonprofits that they may not have received otherwise, enabling them to better support the community.

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Research-driven design

From different rounds of concept testing and interviews some of the key takeaways that helped shape the design of ReMatch were... 

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Shifting the focus from just grant first to donor first:

Giving the DSOs a dual view of the systems and allowing them enough access to both these views to enable them to make better recommendations. We also recognized that with the ability to approach matchmaking from a donor-first perspective, there could be opportunities to further engage or re-engage donors with TPF

“Our job titles have Donor-Services in them, so first and foremost, we want to provide the best service for our donors.”

Donor Services Officer At The Pittsburgh Foundation
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Assigning a priority level to every grant:

The program team did not want the DSOs to feel overwhelmed by the matchmaking process as the current process was pretty time consuming. A key consideration here was to allow Program Officers to be able to assign a priority level to every grant they enter into the system. This would ensure DSOs prioritize getting funding for grants that were more urgent community needs first. 

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Choosing the right medium for ReMatch

While conducting our initial concept tests, we observed that DSOs were more drawn to using conventional devices and primarily desktops to work in general. There was also some degree of preference for mobile as being the device to make quick updates or view information before a meeting and thus we chose to create ReMatch as a responsive web application.

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Making matchmaking a collaborative process

Since multiple DSOs could be collaborating on the same grant to get it funded a design decision made here was to add a comments section under the discussions tab for every grant. A place where DSO’s can collaborate on fundraising strategies on how they are approaching their donors to get funding for a particular grant as well as get any of their questions clarified with the Program team so that all the departments are on the same page 

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Giving the full picture of a donor

A complete view of the donor’s profile was key to make a well-informed decision and give DSO’s a better understanding and a full picture of their donor at a glance and ultimately help them decide which grants are best to recommend their donors. We addressed this key consideration by providing DSO’s with relevant information they need to make their decision up top on the page and then back that information with more nuanced data below in the detailed view. Following that up with enough reasoning for why a grant is being recommended helped them be more confident about the grants they recommend to their donors. 

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For nonprofits...

ProvidING Exposure

ReMatch can provide exposure for smaller local organizations that donors may not have considered otherwise.

Sparking Long-lasting partnerships

Nonprofits seek to build relationships with donors , however, many donors wish to remain anonymous. ReMatch acts as a conduit for lasting partnerships between donors and nonprofits, getting funding to nonprofits while protecting donor anonymity preferences.

Uncovering funds that would otherwise go unspent

ReMatch directs additional funding toward nonprofits that they may not have received otherwise, enabling them to better support the community.

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For donors...

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HeightenING Personalization

Donors cherish their relationship with DSOs. ReMatch can bolster that strong relationship by providing donors with heightened personalization of TPF’s first-class services.

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PRESENTING Data-driven Recommendations

ReMatch provides data-driven recommendations so that the DSO can present the donor with information that is relevant to their philanthropic interests.

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Re-Affirming Philanthropic Beliefs

ReMatch can help DSOs affirm donors of their philanthropic beliefs by reminding them of the causes they care about.

Value to donors

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

Value to nonprofits

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

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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What is ReMatch?

Learn more about the strategic value provided by ReMatch.

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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