Breaking free from third-party restrictions

CAMFED’s old donation system and their website were joined at the hip. Scaling one meant making substantial (expensive) changes to the other. Their CMS had also grown too inflexible to work around. They needed more freedom to craft a compelling case for donations.

Throughout all this, they were still subject to third-party service fees cutting into their revenue. When you consider the size of their operations, that’s a lot of money which should be helping more people.

When the CAMFED team googled Fluent, they saw we had a successful track record of working with charities. We were close enough for face-to-face meetings, with strong experience integrating Salesforce and Stripe.

Our early-stage discussions gave us a clear picture of success; give CAMFED full ownership of their donation process, provide flexibility, letting them create low-friction, high-converting journeys, build in sustainability and scalability to future-proof the platform, bring it all in house to cut third-party fees and add the option to give by Direct Debit for even lower fees and greater longevity.
Ben Manning
Project Manager, Fluent

Discovery: Identifying the challenges

We sat down to get to the heart of where CAMFED’s challenges were really coming from. Our discovery phase highlighted exactly how tricky it was to combine different payment interfaces and platforms across different regions.

To reduce friction in the donors’ journey, we had to rationalise their different approaches. One flexible platform needed one interface capable of handling the traffic, ideally without involving third parties.

An integrated platform gives future-proof confidence

Charities migrating to new systems face logistical headaches. Sometimes, payment methods simply can’t be transferred and they lose donations. It was vital that CAMFED could dodge this in future. They needed an integrated multi-part system where old elements can be unhooked and replaced as required.

Ieso service architecture illustration designed by Fluent

Technical architecture lays the groundwork for success

It’s very common to have a technology stack specified in our briefs. For example, Microsoft Azure is free for charities so we were always going to use that for hosting. We mentioned Salesforce as an endpoint, while Stripe and SmartDebit were chosen to handle card payments and the new Direct Debit option.


React and Typescript provide a flexible technology stack

With those ground rules laid, we got cracking on a solution. A front end built in React gave us a JavaScript framework. The back end consisted of a bunch of Azure functions in Typescript to synchronise transactions.

Our platform would handle payments and notify Salesforce, the in-house team then reconciles transaction data into Salesforce to process receipts.


Meticulous UX crafts an engaging experience

But even the tightest mix of optimal technology will fail unless people love using the finished product. Our team of design experts, headed by Andrew Parker, began obsessing over the user journey.

We started wireframing the donation process, coming up with variations on how much campaign-specific content to include. That would help us balance CAMFED’s message with our audience’s cognitive load.

Camfed User Details

Outcome: A low-friction path to donation

Our team got creative with UX, packing the finished platform with incremental gains and quality of life improvements. Things like smart address lookup, auto-detecting the user’s country and setting the right default currency whittled down friction.

The platform connected multiple Stripe accounts to native providers. Functionality like that unlocks a lot of localisation options, helping us get to know the user as fast as possible. From there, we can present them with the right message at the right time.

Copy is a cornerstone of this project, so we made it easy to craft a compelling story. Rather than have a dedicated CMS for the platform, content is updated via one simple text file and automatically pulled through to the platform. CAMFED’s team can easily adjust and test the text they use to attract donations.

Camfed Donation Use

Custom journeys unlock unprecedented targeting

The reason why someone is giving matters as much as who they are. CAMFED’s new platform creates tailored user journeys to cover things like eCards, fundraisers and legacy donations. It’s also easier to process Gift Aid on personal donations made on behalf of someone else.

Now, the donation team can gather far more relevant data on who a donor is and why they’re using the platform. They can follow up with event organisers to develop deeper relationships.


Full ownership of optimised donor journeys

CAMFED’s donation process has been revolutionised:

  • Third-party fees have been dramatically cut, they’re keeping more of their money
  • They enjoy greater control over their campaigns, friction is lowered and conversions increased
  • Ownership of their own donor platform lets it scale with their operations in future
Camfed Donors

What could your charity do with the extra revenue from a streamlined donor journey?

If you know how you can make a bigger positive impact, talk to Fluent. Our expert consultants and UX designers can help you make your idea a reality.

Contact us