Design with Social Impact: Gift of Hope

Putting our ideas to work in service of a local nonprofit.

Over the last six months, we have had the privilege of working with Gift of Hope, the nonprofit organ and tissue donation network for Illinois and northwest Indiana. It’s an organization working to fulfill the essential yet challenging mission of identifying and screening potential organs and tissues from deceased donors; supporting grieving loved ones through the donation process; coordinating with hospitals to recover viable organs; and ensuring those organs reach a transplant center to save lives–all within a matter of hours, at any time of day or night. Our work with them has left us in awe at the generosity of their dedicated team and humbled by their devotion to this cause.

Most recently, Ruth Schmidt, Paul Keck and I have been working with Gift of Hope leaders to apply the principles of Behavioral Design to better understand, diagnose, and address their common challenges. Behavioral design is a new Doblin tool that combines key principles of behavioral economics with decades of user insights and business experience, to create a disciplined, actionable approach to help de-risk innovation and increase user adoption of new solutions.

When we first met Gift of Hope in January, we applied Behavioral Design to a specific challenge: raising donation rates among their most challenging demographics. That work surfaced several specific ideas to engage at the community, hospital and individual donor family level. Through that work, we realized that the Behavioral Design approach itself might be of use to the Gift of Hope team as a problem solving tool.

To understand the kinds of common challenges Behavioral Design might help the Gift of Hope team address, we designed a light research activity for two groups on the frontlines within Gift of Hope. We used a survey tool to learn more about the specific aspects of their jobs over the course of the week. The two-part tool included a primer in the morning to help focus their reflections, followed by the survey questions themselves in the evening.

On Deloitte’s Impact Day in June, we hosted fifteen members of the Gift of Hope staff at our headquarters in Chicago. Impact Day is Deloitte’s national day of service and a celebration of our year-round commitment to volunteerism and serving our local communities. We shared the results of our research into the challenges facing their frontline teams and started framing how Behavioral Design could help identify new solutions. This session will feed the development of a new set of tools and training for their teams over the coming months.

Be on the lookout for more coverage of our continuing work with Gift of Hope this fall!