"How might we increase the efficiency and impact of non-profit’s fundraising?" | October 2017 Design Thinking Workshop

"How might we increase the efficiency and impact of non-profit’s fundraising?" | October 2017 Design Thinking Workshop

Design Thinking Workshop at SAP Palo Alto Campus


We have been busy starting another exciting academic year at DSO and our partner universities! This year we plan to accelerate our partner impact through the greater use of empathy-driven design thinking and problem solving and our people impact through increased focus on building an inclusive and values driven community focused on professional development. We are kicking off the year by starting 6 new projects with social impact organizations. We plan to cover these projects in subsequent reports.

In this report, we feature our inaugural design thinking workshop.

Thanks for your support as we aspire to continue and improve our impactful work and community of great people.

Featured Initiative

This October, DSO helped facilitate a successful design thinking workshop at SAP’s Palo Alto campus with the following theme: How might we increase the efficiency and impact of non-profit’s fundraising?

SAP organizes an annual Month of Service every October, where employees sign up for short volunteer projects that benefit their local community. This year one of DSO’s engagement leads, Elizabeth Li, was selected to be a project leader and combined her passions for design thinking and non-profit consulting into a single impactful design thinking workshop. With the help of DSO’s empathy-driven design thinking team, Lizzie designed a workshop that would help non-profits improve their fundraising.

Participants at the workshop included volunteers from SAP, and senior leaders from three non-profits: GooruA Touch of Understanding, and Sankara Eye Foundation.

At the end of the full day workshop, each non-profit had developed recommendations they could immediately integrate into their existing fundraising process:

  • Gooru focused on building a plan with the goal of making their fundraising less ad hoc and attracting repeat donors
  • A Touch of Understanding generated new ideas to diversify their donor base and reduce fundraising costs by reaching key volunteers and program alumni
  • Sankara Eye Foundation created a plan to double their funding through the expansion of their operations into new regions

The nonprofits also got an introduction to design thinking tools and methodology that they can use in their day-to-day work.

The overall post-event feedback was very positive, with 100% of survey respondents (both nonprofit guests and SAP volunteers) saying they are likely to attend this event again and recommend it to their peers.

Stay tuned for future DSO design-thinking events!

A Testimonial from A Touch of Understanding

“We have already used the whiteboard brainstorming ideas since returning to our office and it was very beneficial. Building on others’ ideas is very powerful.”

– Leslie DeDora, Executive Director, A Touch of Understanding

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