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Plan International

Designing a new product to increase donor retention for a global movement

The Challenge

Help an international nonprofit retain more donors.

The Insight

Testing showed that engaged supporters would give 3x more — and there was room to drive more engagement.

The Solution

A new product that strengthens relationships with over 800,000 existing donors around the world by creating a personalised experience based on donor history.

The leading child sponsorship organisation, Plan International, needed to grow donor retention among new and active donors.

Blue State helped Plan International design and prototype a new web app to deepen their relationships with their donors. We leveraged audience insights, existing data, and technology to create a mobile-first, personalised and emotional storytelling experience. 

We learned that 61% of sponsors wanted to understand how their donation was making a difference and 38% wanted to find new ways to get involved and show their support.

As a large global organisation, Plan International needed to design the product for a wide range of audiences around the world. With this in mind, Blue State designed and led a series of customized facilitations with stakeholders to learn about Plan’s diverse audience needs and objectives across the globe.

Collection of black and white photos over blue background, featuring workshop sessions with Plan International

Following an immersion phase, our strategy and design team conducted feature prioritisation exercises and ideation to develop a prototype. The final prototype design not only prioritised the ties between sponsor and child, but also elevated Plan International’s brand by integrating content and experiences that showcased the organisation and all the positive work they continue to do.

The prototype web app individualises the relationship between sponsor and child using personalised data like interaction logs, updates on the child’s living conditions, and country-specific cultural information such as local music, recipes, and current events.

This was the first of its kind for Plan International an experience led by their audience and digital design.

Not only does the new web app add value to sponsors’ lives but it also individualises and enriches the quality of the relationship Plan International holds with its most important people.

New, exciting, and hugely valuable”

Grace Pease, Sponsorship Digital Product Owner, Plan International

Our work lays the foundation for a new app that will position Plan International to its donors as a vital nexus for aid, advocacy, education, and cultural connection. Having received positive feedback during global tests, we are now building the web app for local markets.

Collection of statistics overlayed on an image of a small child holding a water canister.


  • 12 Markets where initial pilot testing was conducted
  • 18 National Offices looking to adopt the product
  • 100,000 Sponsors

Press & Accolades

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