Transparent Donation

Charity box that shows fundraising progress and tells you where your contribution went.

Enchanted Objects class @ CIID IDP 2015

Where and when:

CIID IDP 2015: Enchanted Objects
taught by David Rose, Adrian Westway, and Francisco Gomez Paz

Project team:

Sergey Komardenkov
Shruti KNR
Chelsey Wickmark

My contribution went to:

concept design
Arduino circuitry and coding
videography and video editing


Under a glass terrarium lives the miniature model of a dream: a new school for the neighborhood. As the community contributes by tapping a credit card or phone, they see the subject of their dream grow and take shape. Progress towards their goal is projected. With enough donations, the subject of their wish is realized…

Transparent Donation is a feedback solution for fundraising campaigns to communicate with their contributors. The product is envisaged to serve as a donation point, as well as to replace traditional fundraising ‘thermometers’. It uses holograms to display real time progress made towards reaching a specific fundraising goal. Each time donation is made, the holographic rendering of the final goal will automatically develop, in line with the relative amount of the donation. This can help donors visualize the impact of their individual contribution. Similarly, it provides a focal point for community development projects and a medium to illustrate the potential impact of people working together for a common goal.

On the technical level such concept requires a solution that would make it possible to tell the exact expense that was covered by a particular donation. One of the solutions the team has thought of was to electronically tag each donation, without removing its anonymity. If expenses are known ahead of time, which is often the case, then the feedback can be provided in real time right after the donation is made and the amount was allocated to a particular expense.

Design Process:

As the brief was very open the team went for a search for an enchanted object theme to a local IKEA store and, among other things, got inspired by many objects with small enclosed spaces - glass jars, terrariums, serving stand lids, and so on. Such objects may be redesigned to represent a miniature world of their own and offer the potential for rich interactions. Project team has set their interest in creating an environment that delights people and inspires them to engage in shaping this world together.

Charity collection boxes were brought up during the ideation. We saw many problems in how charity is being collected today and how complicated it often becomes to know where exactly money are going to and how much of a change a contributor is actually making with his or her donation. The design challenge the team set for itself was to alleviate uncertainty about the cause for a particular charity and show people where exactly their contribution will go to.