Sandra Mileikyte


An easier way to donate with contactless technology

The brief

Explore how contactless technology could be integrated into JustGiving product offering.

My role

Product & Service Designer.

I joined TapDonate project team to define the best ways to integrate contactless technology and design full user experience for both donors and charity representatives. I found this project particularly interesting because I was able to utilise my product design knowledge and skills. My responsibilities included defining trial format, prototyping, user testing, observing the trial and documenting the results.

Defining alpha trial format

Working closely with UX Researcher I contributed to defining the format of the TapDonate Alpha trial. It has been agreed that working with selected charities (Well Child, Stroke, St. Richards, Brighton Hove, Clic Sargent and Breast Cancer Haven) two concept ideas will be tested over a period of one month. These concept ideas will be trialled in locations and events that are part of existing fundraising strategies of the selected charities.

I then helped to coordinate trial dates and locations with the charities as well as design and prepare all the required materials for the trial.

Service design & prototyping

Contactless technology is strongly embedded into consumers’ everyday lives and I was curious to explore various integrations in the fundraising industry. In addition to competitor analysis, I also looked at etymology of the words “donate” and “give”, what it symbolises today and what people are familiar with. I started noticing the obvious trend in the act of giving money - money needs to go somewhere, be it a piggy bank, collection box or a bank. I also realised that the most intuitive object to collect donations these days is the well known charity collection bucket. It was interesting to explore what would be a bigger integration success: embedding contactless technology into an already familiar object (collection bucket) or designing a ‘blue sky’ concept. This is how I started exploring the two ideas: TapDonate bucket versus a TapDonate “companion” device, and potential branding options.

After a couple of iterations and co-design sessions with the rest of the team, we have arrived at two models for the trial.


The first concept idea is an adaptation of a standard charity collection bucket. It houses a PayPal reader inside while still allowing for cash donations through a specially designed lid.

For the purpose of the trial, a prototype model was created by adjusting an exist collection bucket to house PayPal reader, creating a slot for coins and raising lid’s surface at ergonomically convenient angle to accept any type of donations.

The second Contactless Giving concept is a standalone lanyard containing PayPal reader which can be personalised to reflect charity’s brand. This concept only accepts contactless donations (via a bank card or any NFC compatible smart device) and offers a hands-free interaction with donors.

Both concepts operate via an app which allows to select a charity, donation amount and they are then ready to accept donations.

In addition to two TapDonate products, I co-designed a trial kit, containing branded T-shirts and other marketing material such as post-donation thank you cards.

Trialling the product

Over a course of one month I shadowed all TapDonate trial sessions, where selected charities tested the two concept ideas in various locations and events. This ranged from Central London tube station collections, to Milton Keynes Gallery Launch Event.

During the trial one charity representative used a bucket, while another one tried a lanyard and I was observing all the interactions with donors. It was really interesting to see donor’s reactions to a new way of donating money, as well as charity representative’s interactions with a new fundraising tool. Each trial sessions resulted in significant amount of insights which indicated the key areas of improvement.

The outcome

After one month’s worth of trials together as a team we analysed results, going through video recordings, photographs and questionnaires, and extracted the key trends. There was no clear winner between the two solutions, however the most interesting insights were:

  1. There were ergonomic issues with TapDonate bucket
  2. Charity representatives played a crucial role in attracting donors’ attention - not the TapDonate products
  3. Several problems with technology did not allow to create a “Tap & Go” experience which was a disappointment for donors

At the end of Alpha trial it has been decided to put the TapDonate project on hold until JustGiving goes through acquisition period. We agreed that before TapDonate progresses into Beta trial stage, the key concerns and pain points from the first trial should be addressed.

White Paper

I have written a detailed White Paper on TapDonate Alpha Trial which describes methodologies used and contains a more in-depth analysis of the results. You can read it here.