Online donating platform JustGiving is preparing to shift from a donating platform to a “social platform for giving” as it readies the launch of a closed beta version of its site next month.
The move comes as JustGiving looks to take “the next step in its evolution” and capitalise on its donators and users’ social circles to raise awareness of the platform and to create a more personalised user experience.
Charlie Wells, chief marketing officer, JustGiving, said the company’s new investment in data insight and the changing habits of its users has pushed forward the decision to switch to a socially led business model following the lead of platforms such as Spotify and Netflix.
“We now have over 14m unique sessions every month and we know that a lot of those sessions aren’t about giving or creating a fundraising page,” he said. “We had a huge amount of eyeball traffic and we know that people are looking at charity profiles and spend a lot of time browsing their friend’s pages to see what they’ve done.”
Wells said that despite lots of engaging activity happening on the site, such as people returning to see if friends had hit fundraising targets, the website itself wasn’t particularly engaging, acting more "as a till".
“There’s been this big shift in thinking at the organisation to take the next step in our evolution to move from a donating platform to a social platform for giving,” he continued.
“In the way Spotify became a social platform and Netflix became a social platform, there’s an almost infinite list of categories that have become more of an engagement system, because they’ve looked at themselves as more of a place where people can see what their friends are doing.”
The Care button, which JustGiving launched late last month, is the first step in that social direction and allows users to show they ‘care’ about a charity and also to share it with their social circles on Facebook and Twitter.
Wells said that during its first week, the Care button was used every 30 seconds on the platform and 1 in 5 people who 'cared' decide to share it, marking the first demonstration that people “are interested in coming to JustGiving to take part in other actions”.
The platform has also invested in analysing its 14 years’ worth of data and created the GiveGraph, a data set similar to Facebook’s Open Graph, which allows JustGiving to understand the relationship between different users and causes in order to create a more personalised experience.
“Now that we’ve got this GiveGraph database in place, which allows us to understand you as an individual and the giving behaviours of your network, it opens up enormous possibility for us as a platform to help any user connect with any cause in the world and find those causes through their friends."