World Vision UK

User Research

World Vision UK

User Research to Find Opportunities in Millennials

World Vision is a the worlds largest international children’s charity in the world. For this to become a reality, they work alongside communities in close to 100 countries to bring about long-term change; giving children a voice in the places where decisions are made and respond quickly to the emergencies that affect more than 250 million people around the world each year. Focusing on three key areas: child protection, child health and emergency response.



World Vision came to Hyper Island to help them find new innovative opportunities for millennials to engage with overseas aid. Their current business model depends on a monthly subscription model, the majority of which come from middle class women.  The report was an exploration and identification of unique opportunities for World Vision UK to reinvent the ways millennials can be engaged with overseas aid.

The team was supported by advisors from IDEO to design an appropriate research plan in order to gain insight into:

“How might we reinvent the way millennials engage with overseas aid?”


World Vision UK

Project Lead Time:

3 Weeks


Desk Research
Interview Discussion Guide
User Interviews
Report Content

Team Member:

Shirley Sarker
Manish Chauhan
Radina Doneva
Laura Morley
Dan Nessler


Below are opportunity areas after synthesis of various forms of research including desk and qualitative interviews with Millennials.

Real voices, Real stories

Connecting world vision Ground staff with donors

Local Engagement, Global Impact

Local community is a powerful starting point for millennials to engage with overseas aid

Engaging Cross - Medium Experiences

Millennials can be reached through a variety of mediums and these should not be exclusively digital.

Lifestyle Integration

Integrate a variety of donation opportunities into millennials’ lifestyles

Insights lead us to believe that there is an opportunity to educate and inform millennials about what happens on the ground by enabling World Vision workers and volunteers to tell their stories.

Findings indicate that millennials prefer to engage with charities that practice transparency. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Feldman & Yu, 2014), millennials want to see their contribution achieving results. Moreover, with their access to a large global network they are the secret weapon to spread the word for a cause (Meade, 2014).

The interview insights reveal an opportunity to tap into local community to spread awareness of
overseas charity work. All conducted interviews show a consistent tendency among the target group to engage with local charities, where the impact is visible and they are directly involved in making a difference

It is evident that social media is mostly used out of habit rather than particular affection. Number one expenditure was on offline socialising and experiences, which the interviewed millennials tend to then share online.

The findings were further confirmed by secondary data which outlines that UK millennials value experiences over possessions and this drives the “experience economy”, with £419.5 million monthly expenditure on live events in the UK (UK Millennial Report, 2015).

Our findings point to the need for a variety of ways to donate.
Our insights led us to discover that there is an opportunity for World Vision to engage with millennials by finding ways to integrate donation and involvement into their existing lifestyle patterns.

Standing orders are the least preferred option for charitable donation, while sponsored activities and one-time online

Project Process

Five in-depth one hour interviews with target users were conducted depending on the following traits:

•Level and type of engagement with social media

•Involvement with current affairs and source of information

•Travel preferences and attitude towards developing countries

•Attitude towards charity, charitable organisations, type and level of engagement

•Brand engagement – what brands are compelling and how do they engage?

As well as two interviews with:

•Former Head of Marketing & Campaigns (World Vision)
•Public Relations Director (Jung von Matt)

Three supporting tools used during the interviews:

• A world map was used to discover where interviewees had traveled

• A card sort was used to determine preferred donation methods

• A bullseye framework was used to compare the importance of various charitable causes to the interviewee