Corey McCue, UX Designer
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Philo makes it easier than ever to donate to charities. Philo rounds your transactions up to the nearest dollar, and helps you donate the difference to your favorite charities. Being asked to donate to charity, often at a store or while you're out in public, can be a high-pressure situation. With Philo, the high-pressure situation is avoided, and users have an easy way to donate.


What’s the problem?

If you’ve ever been asked to donate to charity while shopping or while you’ve been out in public, then you know how uncomfortable it can be. Situations like these are high-pressure. Donating to charity is important, and people should have an easier way to donate to the charities that they choose, when they choose.


How can it be solved?

There are a number of investing and savings platforms that monitor a users transactions, round them up to the nearest dollar, and then put the difference into an investment or savings account. This same concept could be applied to charitable giving to provide users with an easily accessible, low-pressure way to donate to charities of their choice.


Early Exploration


Mind Mapping

Exploration began with mind mapping around the phrase “giving to charity”. This outlines the pros, cons, pain points, and areas of focus. Mind mapping helps to generate as many ideas, considerations, and constraints as possible without getting too detailed at too early a stage.


Low-Fidelity Wireframes

After the mind mapping helped expose areas of focus and pain points, low-fidelity wires served as a quick way to explore what solutions to those problems could look like. This part of the ideation phase is deliberately lightweight and helps avoid working in high-fidelity visuals without having a reasonably viable solution in mind.


Medium-Fidelity Wireframes



During onboarding, users can search for charities to follow. Popular Charities are recommended, driving user engagement.


By linking Philo to their bank account, the users transactions can be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference can then be added to their balance. 


Signing in with a Facebook account allows Philo to recommend charities based on the users social media activity, helping to drive user engagement with relevant recommendations.


Follow and Discover

Users can see news from the charities they follow. Seeing what their donations are helping to accomplish increases engagement and helps the user feel good about what they're doing.

The Discover tab shows news from charities the user isn’t currently following. Seeing the work that other organizations are doing will encourage users to contribute to more causes.


Weekly Donation

At the end of each week, the user is notified that their Weekly Donation is ready for review. Here the user is able to adjust the amount to be donated, and distribute it among the charities they follow.



The core functions of Philo are payment processing, news article aggregation, and charity recommendations based on social media activity. To enable these functions, existing APIs could be leveraged:

Payment processing

  1. Apple Pay

  2. Square

  3. Google Pay

  4. PayPal Payments

  5. Venmo Payments


News article aggregation

  1. Bing News Search

  2. Facebook Graph


Social media integration

  1. Facebook Graph

  2. Twitter Search


Does this solve the problem?

Philo makes it easy for users to discover and donate to charities on their own terms. By rounding a users transactions up to the next dollar and allocating the difference to be donated, Philo makes donating to charity easier and more private. Aggregating news articles about a users selected charities shows the user all the good that their donations are helping to accomplish which, in turn, will inspire them to continue donating.