Aloki user research internship

How might we better connect a nonprofit organization with its donors?

In 2020, I researched and designed solutions for engagements between Overseas Volunteers for a Better India (OVBI) and their donors. OVBI relies on donation and fundraising to support their projects, and the focus of this internship was engaging donors through the website of OVBI's Eliminating Water Poverty.

Dolly Parikh for coaching me during this project!

Research & design
In the process of research, I interviewed stakeholders, organized findings (using user personas, interviews, journey mapping) and communicated with leadership. I found that long-term donors were an important aspect of OVBI's donation system. One common theme among my interviews was the need for more connections to the efforts and impacts of OVBI's water program. While donors were getting updated through email lists, they did not feel grounded to their impacts in India– especially because many of the donors had begun contributing due to empathy with the struggles of Indian farmers.

After this research, I proposed two key ideas to help OVBI better engage with its donors.

This website was designed with a focus on showing how OVBI has changed water security in various focused regions in India from their initial steps to the present day.
  • A demonstration of soil moisture in OVBI's focus areas over time through multispectral satellite imaging provided by a volunteer's startup
  • Showing how important metrics in water infrastructure, such as number of check dams built, have improved over time thanks to OVBI's involvement.
  • New live Q&A sessions with volunteers and workers on site: Short online video sessions would build connections between volunteers and donors, grounding the impacts of their financial support.

︎︎︎ User research takeaways (Anonymized for this page)

︎︎︎ Journey mapping


By dragging a slider over or letting the timeline autoplay, users can view how OVBI has progressed in improving India’s water quality through a combination of important metrics and a multispectral satellite view documenting soil moisture.
Clicking on an article card on the main page lets users find out more about the specific interventions that OVBI employs to improve water security.

Article Cards
Informative statistics and graphics combined with articles written about progress in specific areas let donors know two important things:

  1. How close OVBI is to reaching it’s goals in certain regions
  2. What exactly volunteers are doing to improve water security
  3. The impacts of OVBI’s efforts in this region
Live check-ins
Events help donors to learn about what is happening overseas, connect with other volunteers, and become inspired to join in.