Case Study

How Project Aware® Increased Unsolicited Donations by 80%


Project AWARE
 is a global movement for ocean protection, powered by a community of adventurers. They take action to create both local and global change for the ocean and the communities who depend on it.

The Problem

The Project AWARE team recognized that their existing donation form needed review, in order to increase income raised online.

Having redesigned their website, the team adjusted the donation page’s look and feel, because the existing templates did not work well and there was inconsistency in the supporter journey.

Additionally, as an international organization, Project AWARE offers multiple currencies, each linked to a different bank account. Their previous approach linked the currency to the donor’s country, even if the donor wanted to make their gift in a different currency.

The Solution

Working with the consulting firm 54 Degrees, one of Engaging Networks’accredited partners, Project AWARE revamped their donation funnel to incorporate persuasion design principles, simplifying it to increase donor motivation.

The new funnel was:


Adapting to all screen sizes, from mobile to widescreen retina displays.


The page content and multi-step form loads quickly, so there is no interruption to the user experience.


Allowed for more space to reinforce the motivators that Project AWARE wanted to communicate.


The donation form remains consistent on the page as the user scrolls through the page content.


The user can see progress at the top, and go back without losing data input.


Adaptive placeholders were used for field labels, and to make errors easy to fix.


The design made it easier to select one-time or monthly donations on the form.


The user was able to select multiple currencies, and was given the choice of paying via credit card or PayPal.


The page was built to include the Secure padlock, industry accreditation, evidence of impact and details of how the money was invested.


This built a narrative around the goal of encouraging people to consider what a community of action takers can do to protect the ocean, and invited them to be a part of it.


Supporter testimonials, progress bars and social proof reinforced to donors that they were in good company. Additionally, the page displayed photos of “other people like me” who care about cleaning up the ocean.


The page was redesigned to display conditional content, varying according to whether the visitor was a past donor or not. Past donors were shown the donation form first, since their prior actions proved they were already motivated supporters. But all other visitors were shown the content first, to provide motivation, along with a prominent Donate button that they could click on to make the donation form appear.

The Results

Unsolicited donations increased by 80% overall. The uplift was looked at over a 12 month period.

Single donations: 

  • Number of donations increased 68%
  • Value of donations increased 68% 

Regular donations: 

  • Number of donations increased 186%
  • Value of donations increased 75% 

A Big Thank You

At Engaging Networks, we’re proud to work with great charities like Project AWARE a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. To learn more about this great cause visit their website.

This case study was originally presented at ENCC 2019 by Eugene Flynn at 54 Degrees. The full slides used in the presentation can be downloaded here and video of the session can be viewed on Vimeo.

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