Women for Women International

Usability assessment, UX and conversion optimization drive vital donations for a global non-profit


For non-profits whose mission depends on charitable donations, their website experience and content strategy must lead viewers through an intuitive marketing funnel — creating strong emotional ties along the way.

Pain Points & Challenges

Washington, DC-based Women for Women International (WfWI), which supports a sisterhood of survivors of war and conflict, needed to foster a better user understanding of their vital humanitarian work and increase mission-critical donations. The funds are used to provide skills, knowledge, and resources for more than half a million women across 14 countries as they rebuild their lives, families, and communities.

Based on analysis of 23 nonprofit websites, the top “donation killers” are:

Content issues (unclear/missing information, confusing terms)
Usability problems (unintuitive information architecture, cluttered pages, confusing workflow)
Users couldn’t find donation buttons due to “banner-blindness” or over-formatting

Solutions: Strategy Meets Creativity

Messaging Strategy

After extensive user testing, stakeholder discovery, and a review of the assets in the client’s online donation path, we created a plan to increase long-term conversion optimization on several fronts. Starting with high-level messaging tactics, we identified ways to use more succinct and personally meaningful language peppered with more “you” statements (e.g., “Can you imagine?”, “What if you…”). We also increased the personal appeal, particularly for younger audiences, with impactful stories of success that mention women helped by name; provided opportunities to leverage the social influence and name recognition of high-profile brand ambassadors; and identified powerful voice and tone notes to be applied across the brand.

User Testing

Based on results from a user pathways audit, we designed a Google Optimize A/B testing plan for use at key times — such as during major capital campaigns — when the client needs to explore how to get the best user engagement through different variations of mission-driven vs. donation-driven language and strategic placement of homepage calls to action (CTAs).

Information Architecture

In addition to creating a more effective information architecture to lead users more intentionally through the site, we made recommendations that make information categories easier to scan and find, provide consistent experiences across all devices with a clear hierarchy of content, increase depth of engagement through easy exploration, and help users connect emotionally with the organization’s impact.

WfWI at a Glance

contributions (2020)
women reached
conflict-affected countries
women served (2021)

Web & UX Design

A new homepage more prominently features WfWI’s logo, impactful imagery, clear and immediate CTAs, and intuitive pathways to donation options. In addition, we added user-friendly at-a-glance infographics, easy-to-read program summaries, emotion-driven impact story teasers that immediately engage readers, and an overview of ways to get and stay involved with WfWI and its mission.

We also refreshed interior pages to reflect the new visual styling and components on the homepage, and improved the breadcrumb navigation of the site to accommodate up to three pages to improve the way-finding.

In the end, these high-impact experience upgrades and evolved messaging strategies increase awareness of the organization’s accomplishments and make users more personally invested in supporting WfWI going forward.