World Vision Next Steps
World Vision is a large Christian-based foreign aid charity, engaging in community-focused projects around the world funded by a combination of government funding and personal donations. The current donor base for World Vision is focused on the baby boomer demographic and the U.K. branch came to us to help them find a way to engage younger generations (in particular, millennials).
Project length: 4 weeks.
Approach to Research
We brainstormed around the keywords ‘millennials’, ‘engagement’ and ‘overseas aid’ for our research into extreme personas. We developed three research spectrums with extreme users at either end so as to gain deeper insight into millennials as a whole. The theory behind this method is that if you conduct interviews with individuals at either end of a spectrum, and you can meet both of their needs, you will be meeting the needs of everyone else along the spectrum as well. In addition to secondary research conducted, this gave us a plan of attack for our primary research.
Non-Traditional View of Religion | Strong Faith
Social Media Star | No Presence on Social Media
Against Overseas Aid | Activist Attached to a Cause
As a part of our research, we conducted an inspirational visit to Lighthouse Church for their monthly youth sermon called Excel. U.K. churches are facing similar problem to World Vision in engaging millennials with declining numbers of them coming to the church. We wanted to see how they were engaging millennials. The Excel program was an event with hip hop and rock music along with club style lighting in an atmosphere very different to a traditional British church environment. It was an interesting new way to bring youth and the church back together. We also chose to visit Lighthouse Church because they go on overseas missions and we wanted to meet with young people that have directly engaged in overseas aid.
We conducted in-depth interviews to speak directly to millennials about their engagement with charity. Our discussion guide focused on their personal motivations to support causes, their influences, and their perception of charities.
In order to keep the participants engaged and extract different insights, we switched to an interactive task and offered them the option to make a collage. The materials we provided consisted of a set of 93 pictures and 25 words evoking different concepts and feelings. The participant had 10 minutes to make a selection and then explain their choices to the interviewer.
Whenever possible, we conducted in-context interviews. This occurred most remarkably in the case of our “activist” interviewee who lived in an anti-fracking camp in Woolsten (close to Manchester). Our aim with this visit was to enhance our understanding of how his community affected his involvement in a cause.
Themes & Insights
Our intensive approach to research provided us with crucial insights into the target demographic as well as a clear path forward to improve the current engagement levels of younger generations with World Vision. We saw a theme of moving away from the idea of money in terms of how to give and how to communicate organizational progress as well as a strong connection to community combined with sincere and tangible role models. We distilled these themes and insights to create our opportunity areas.
Click here to download the full research report.
World Vision should be more aligned with the millennial global citizen attitude, fostering a collective responsibility of creating a better world together. Focus on aid as a global responsibility that we all contribute to and solve together, rather than using the current dynamic of the first world helping the third world.
World Vision should choose to highlight the benefits of the community that surrounds their charity. Create spaces of expression where millennials can voice their opinions, share experiences, and build a community to be inspired and to inspire their peers.
World Vision should demonitize giving to enable millennials to donate with all types of resources available to them. A millennial that volunteers and works with World Vision is more likely to give money, build lasting relationships, and recruit their peers. World Vision should look at how to use millennials’ professional and personal skills.