Give San Benito

Give San Benito 

Role: Lead designer

Team: Design by Cosmic

Responsibilities: Brand Strategy, Information Architecture, Interaction & Visual Design


Give San Benito homepage


30+ grants contributed to a total of nearly $250,000 in 2019

Problem Statement
The impact of nearly $1M in charitable contributions wasn’t clear to philanthropists donating to the Community Foundation for San Benito County.  We needed to connect donors to the stories of their giving.

Current and future donors of the Community Foundation for San Benito County


Local kids at the county farmers market


Donating makes people feel good, but choices are also based on making informed decisions. To inspire confidence in donors, we knew the site design needed to strike a balance between head and heart.


A story-centric design approach

We worked closely with the Give San Benito team to gain insights into why their current website was outdated and relatively unused. The key pain points we identified were that the old site was challenging to update, maintain, and use. We completely overhauled and simplified the information architecture to avoid overwhelming site visitors. The new content flow enables users to quickly learn, donate and get involved.


Kickoff workshop notes + site structure exploration sketch

Our strategy centered on designing a story-centric digital experience with a flexible and easily customizable blog format highlighting community stories. We teamed up with a local photographer and wove photos of the rural county’s natural beauty into the site design to champion the theme, “Live here. Give here.”


Give San Benito blog

Key Takeaways

  • Donation is driven by a balance of logic and emotion
  • A high volume of funds options, when disorganized, is a barrier to giving
  • People donate because they care and feel good about the causes they are contributing towards


  • 140+ nonprofit partners onboarded in digital philanthropy web experience
  • 1-2 new giving stories shared monthly
  • In 2019, over 30 grants for a combined total of nearly $250,000 were given

Give San Benito interior pages

Next Steps

I would connect each giving story to a future donation opportunity, explore ways to reduce friction within the donation experience, refine the nonprofit directory filtering system, and prototype an active online community for donors.

All Work

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Give San BenitoCase Study

IllustrationSelected Work