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AFC Design Sprint

Action for Children

A design sprint

A one-day design sprint for charity organisation Action for Children, organised by UX for Change London, to create a bigger social impact that's financially sustainable. Our team created an income-generating solution focusing on increasing public awareness whilst meeting the needs of the target support audience.

Action for Children


7 hours

6 people

UX Designer


At the moment the charity sector as a whole is challenged by government cuts and is stagnant when it comes to generating voluntary income from the public. With over 500 physical services spread around the UK, Action for Children is directly supporting over 300,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year.

A challenge that inspired AFC to invite 30 people with diverse backgrounds in UX, research, product design, tech, AI and the startup space to participate in a one-day design sprint to think beyond traditional fundraising techniques.


In this case study, I will go over the format and all the steps we took during the 7-hour sprint.



We started the day with a presentation from AFC that explained the intention of the day and brief introductions from all participants and teams. The team I worked with consisted of a total of 6 volunteers; 1 AFC Facilitator, 1 AFC Fundraiser, 2 Product Managers, 1 UX Researcher and myself as UX Designer.


The brief was to create an income-generating solution that increases the public awareness of AFC whilst meeting the needs of the target support audience. In our team’s case, our support target audience was Kath and Dave. A fictional persona that was created by AFC prior to the sprint based on key insights from preliminary research.

Meet Kath & Dave -the Homebirds

  • Kath & Dave are parents in their late 40’s with 3 grown-up children

  • Kath & Dave have a busy life filled with work, social life and family responsibilities

  • Kath & Dave are motivated to give because they feel a sense of duty to give back to society




To create a deeper understanding of Kath and Dave we used a collaborative tool called Empathy mapping. It helped us align as a team by visualising the attitudes and behaviour of our persona and helped us grasp their experience.

The empathy canvas is divided into 6 different sections:

  1. What do they think and feel?

  2. What do they see?

  3. What do they say and do?

  4. What do they hear?

  5. What are their pain points?

  6. What are their goals?

We each participated by writing these down on separate post-its and organised them on the map while discussing them. Re-occurring attitude and behaviour statements were:

  • Kath & Dave have a strong sense of local community and social responsibility

  • Kath & Dave are creatures of habit and fond of certainty and consistency

  • Kath & Dave have a feeling of being overlooked by society

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Empathy map


Having this in mind we then as a group moved on to creating ‘How Might We’ questions. ‘HMW’ questions generate a number of challenges and therefore possible design solutions that formed the base for our first ideation session. After discussing each question we were given 3 stickers each to vote on what we individually found best to focus our design solution on.

The winning HMW questions were:

  • How might we give a transparent and clear effect of actions?

  • How might we raise awareness/presence of AFC in local communities?

  • How might we leverage local pride to raise more money?

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HMW questions

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Most voted HMW questions

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After a quick lunch break, it was time for us to ideate and start sketching our ideas on paper. We each individually did 3 rounds of sketching, starting off with a round of crazy 8’s to then drafting out multiple ideas.

My final ideation sketch is for a mobile application that celebrates the success of each AFC project, whilst being informative and transparent about the impact each completed project has had. Giving users such as Kath and Dave a clear overview of ongoing projects and its current status in terms of goals to be achieved, funds to be raised and giving them an option to contribute as they see fit.

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My screen flow of proposed solution


When we finished our final ideation sketches we put our drawings on the wall and were given 2 minutes each to explain our design solution to the rest of the team. Similar to the ‘How Might We’-exercise we then voted to narrow it down to one idea. As there were a few similarities across some of the ideas we as a group decided to go for the two solutions highlighted in red below. Mine was selected alongside another idea that came in the form of a crowdfunding platform solution, particularly focusing on local projects around Kath & Dave.

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Dote vote of 6 potential solutions


As we reached the end of the day we had 30 minutes to prepare a storyboard to pitch our solution to the entire group.

  1. Meet Kath & Dave, they are part of a tight-knit local community, they feel socially responsible and would like to make a bigger impact locally for good causes. Not only through donating but through actively doing something, as they feel that there’s a lack of transparency when donating money.

  2. Kath & Dave are out on their regular Sunday walk in the park and bump into their friend Jerry. They’ve heard from a neighbour that Jerry is involved with a Foster care project and are curious to know more.

  3. Jerry explains he got involved through AFC’s People Project Portal, which he signed up for through his mobile.

  4. Jerry grabs his phone and shows the app to Kath & Dave.

  5. He opens the current status of his project page along with goals met and money raised to date.

  6. Kath’s feeling delighted after speaking to Jerry and decides to download and sign up to AFC’s People Project Portal when she arrives home.

  7. Kath reads a few success stories about projects in neighbouring communities.

  8. Feeling inspired, she decides to start her own project!

  9. Fast forward to the future and Kath & Dave accomplish their goal and become the success story of the month.

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I was quite hesitant in the beginning, about how much we could achieve in a day with little prior knowledge of the charity and the industry itself. But I found that AFC was really well prepared and supplied us with all the information we needed. Another thing that helped our process was that there were plenty of AFC staff members on the floor to give us more insights when we got stuck or when we had questions. I enjoyed spending the day with other designers solving a problem for a good cause, and will actively search for more opportunities to do skills-based volunteering in the future.

AFC is currently going through everything that was created during this day sprint and started to cluster solutions based on similarities and themes to begin to find quick ways to test desirability, feasibility and viability.

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