Re:act is an innovative web app which recommends relevant opportunities for giving based on web users’ browsing behaviour.
Digital marketers have long been experimenting with ‘behavioural targeting’ – using technology to deliver relevant ads to web users based on the sites they visit – in their quest to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time.
There’s good reason for this; a recent study using data from 12 major online ad networks found that targeted ads secure an average of 2.68 times more revenue than non-targeted messages, and are more than twice as effective at converting users into buyers.
Re:act is applying this type of technology to get more people giving. Developed by OneWorld UK, a not-for-profit organisation focused on using tech to achieve social impact, the web app analyses people’s browsing behaviour, and uses this information to recommend relevant opportunities to give time, money or support to good causes.
For example, if you’re reading the BBC gardening page, re:act might suggest a volunteering opportunity at your local gardening club.
During a two-month test with more than 120 users in 2012, re:act tested 105,000 urls and made 751 recommendations. From this, it achieved a click-through rate (CTR) of 38% – more than 10 times the average CTR for email marketing in the charity sector.
In addition, while e-marketing tools are sometimes seen as intrusive or spammy, feedback to re:act has been resoundingly positive so far. Following the initial test, almost three quarters of respondents said it had led them to take action, while 93% said it made good or very good recommendations.
In 2013, OneWorld embarked on a 12-month pilot with volunteering platform Do-it (see below), to integrate Do-it’s technology into re:act and build new functionality. Following an intensive phase of testing and development, the app is due to launch in 2014.
Award and follow-on funding
OneWorld UK was awarded £50,000 in the first round of the Innovation in Giving Fund to support the building and testing of the Google Chrome app.
OneWorld was later awarded an additional £125,000 to support the 12-month pilot with Do-it – and potentially other platforms too – to test the app at scale and build additional features. As well as recommending opportunities based on users’ interests and location, OneWorld is testing functionality to match volunteers by their skills and availability, make personalised ‘asks’ and prioritise sectors with the greatest need.
Senior Software Architect