The proliferation of new media is rapidly changing the world of philanthropy and more effective methods of raising funds and developing donor relationships must be sought. Furthermore, today’s trends indicate that the amount of giving by individuals has increased gradually, but the generation gap in donors is increasing.

Fundamentally, this thesis project seeks effective ways to attract young donors and show how to maintain a continuous connection with them by using today’s trending business and marketing buzzwords, “gamification” and “social network services.” Employing a game’s entertainment, problem-solving challenges, interactive experience, and customer loyalty improvement is expected to create significant synergy when the game is merged with fundraising and social network services. The study also engaged in an in-depth exploration of existing fundraising methods, in which user interviews were employed to identify the underlying problems. Finally, this study presents an understanding of game mechanics and psychology and outlines its strategic plan for a new fundraising app, designed for a nonprofit animal shelter to encourage pet adoption and donation.

Through the analysis, this thesis project suggests solutions and ideas for a better UX design for a fundraising app that can engage people and draw their attention. Finally, based on this study, recommendations are made for further research that reinforces the role of a fundraising app in making a better world.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dog rescue--Interactive multimedia--Design; Animal shelters--Interactive multimedia--Design; Charities--Interactive multimedia--Design; Application software--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Nancy Ciolek

Advisor/Committee Member

Chris Jackson

Advisor/Committee Member

Lorrie Frear


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HV4746 .N3 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes