Designing For Philanthropy Impact: The Giving Compass (Summer 2018)

High net worth (HNW) donors wishing to manage their own philanthropic work must navigate a disorganized maze of online resources. Based on its initial research, the Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative (EPLI) at Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) hypothesized that high net worth donors will learn faster and be more likely to implement an impactful philanthropy strategy if provided with a centralized, user-friendly platform of tools and resources. EPLI then tested this hypothesis with additional research from January to August 2016.

After completing interviews with 51 high net worth donors and 29 domain experts, EPLI created a prototype of an online platform, titled the Giving Compass. The EPLI tested the platform designs with individual donors, and continuously revised the designs based on their feedback. Informed by this and other research, the Raikes Foundation launched the Giving CompassTM in Summer 2017 (visuals below), in partnership with EPLI and several allied organizations.

This paper summarizes EPLI findings about specific needs of early-stage high net worth donors. It also outlines key insights from the research and resulting design principles for creating useful products for the sector.