Helping Concern Worldwide to increase online donations by 10% year-on-year

Global charity Concern Worldwide depends on donations to help fund their work. We’ve changed the way that happens online.


Long-term SystemSeed client, Concern Worldwide, is a global humanitarian charity who work in some of the world’s poorest countries to help people living in extreme poverty. Having helped them through two previous versions of Drupal, they were ready to rebuild their entire website in Drupal 8 and asked us to help. Charities are now heavily reliant on their online presence to generate interest in their work and produce income, and Concern Worldwide is no exception. They needed to maximise online donations and fundraising with a flexible content management system (CMS) that would create engaging user experiences.


With the new website, Concern Worldwide has seen a 30% increase in online transactions, over 12% increase in revenue, and 4% increase in the site conversion rate (60% increase in the funnel); and we are continuing to work to improve revenue performance even further. It uses a combination of pre-styled and editable blocks, including new donation forms and a faster online payments system. These features now make up Falcon, our free Drupal distribution for charities.

Working with the team at Concern and a user experience (UX) team at Torchbox, we developed a new CMS that enables Concern Worldwide staff to independently test and run different types of campaigns and donation requests.

SystemSeed is one of the best agencies I’ve worked with. They offer services beyond development, including UX, along with quite a bit of support to help your business.

Elena Sarmiento
Digital Communications Manager
Concern Worldwide UK

How we did it

The Requirements

This rebuild was a big project, with the essential objectives of engaging site visitors in the work of Concern Worldwide and encouraging them to either donate or take part in a fundraising activity.
Working closely with the charity’s communications team, we identified exactly what was needed from the donations functions of new site and CMS to make those things happen:

  • Faster donation processing.

    A frictionless donation process to maximise the number of people completing their online donation.
  • Managing multiple payment types.

    All donations are good donations, so however a person wants to give their money, we want to make it possible.
  • Progressively responsive design.

    Donations often happen on mobile devices, so we had to make that process clear and easy.
  • Full flexibility of page templates.

    To test different types of pages and online campaigns, you have to be able to change them.
  • Robust hosting.

    Downtime can cost a charity in terms of money and reputation, so good hosting was essential.

Enabling Experimentation

For most charities, donations forms are one of the key components of their websites.

In rebuilding the donation forms for Concern Worldwide - using decoupled Drupal and React - our goal was not only to create a fresh new design, but also to allow easy experimentation with look & feel, enable A/B testing, and collect analytics data for further UX improvements.

To achieve this flexibility, we developed a multi-step form wizard on top of the React Final Form and Redux libraries. It helped us to build multiple donation form variations, including: one-off appeals, monthly donations, email campaign optimised forms, and region-specific forms.

Improving Performance

The decoupled approach, along with improved hosting, also increased form performance. The new site can now process three concurrent donations per second and 600,000 users per minute.

Our new form wizard manages the checkout flow in the visitor’s browser, without any extra requests to Drupal until the very last step. This means that navigation between the donation form steps is almost instant on any device.

Alejandra and Kate with the team in Dublin

Managing Multiple Payment Types

Donors can choose from several payment methods: PayPal, credit card, UK direct debit, or SEPA bank transfer (Single European Payments Area).

The payment gateways themselves are configurable through Drupal Commerce and the donation forms wizard knows how to display them and handle payments in both test and production modes.

Ensuring Payment Security

We followed best practices from third-party payment processors to integrate them with the donation forms. All payments on Concern Worldwide websites are compliant with the new EU Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulation.
Additional anti-fraud locks can be optionally enabled by the site administrators in case of carding attacks that are unfortunately very common for charities.

A solid connection

In order to submit donation forms data to Drupal, we created the Commerce Decoupled Checkout. This Drupal module provides an API endpoint for submitting order data along with payment information for further processing by Drupal Commerce.
Because Drupal and React are so compatible, we were able to make the new donation forms high-performing, secure and UX-optimised.
Commerce Decoupled Checkout is now also part of Falcon, our open source Drupal distribution for charities.

Supporting Success

As well as building the new site for Concern Worldwide, our developers provide ongoing support for the site. In addition to making sure that all stays working as it should, this also means that we’re on hand to help implement new donations tests and experiments, and can provide advice on how to get the most out of them. It’s a partnership that we’re proud of.

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