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Infographic: One For The World Columbia

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

I designed engaging educational and marketing materials for One For The World Columbia.

By using Piktochart and Photoshop, I designed three assets to communicate essential information about One For The World to target audiences. These three materials all target different pool of audience. However, I used the same process behind every project - chunking information into small, bite-sized pieces for easy consumption that a potential donor/member can fit into their busy day. The development process challenged common misunderstanding about data-heavy information that it cannot be attractive to mass audience. The following blog post follows each decision I made while designing the assets.

One For The World Columbia team

One For The World (OFTW) is an organization that falls under Effective Altruism's umbrella. They have chapters on university campuses all over the US and I had an opportunity to be a part of Growth Team in Columbia chapter in fall 2018.

As Effective Altruism (EA) is still a very young movement. When I first joined, there were some material for people who might be interested in the topic and new members to learn about the movement. However, as EA's philosophy stems from data-driven research and academic writings, these materials are hardly user-friendly. These information are also scattered on many different EA websites, so it was hard to present the information in one quick pitch when One For The World table for pledges and it is almost impossible to encourage enthusiasts to read more since information is not in one place. Moreover, as One For The World chapters are student organizations, people who produced materials were student volunteers. As a result, there was little brand consistency and there were a lot of duplication between campuses.


Title: Infographic depicting One For The World's Top 5 charities

Tool: Piktochart and Photoshop

Time in Development: 4 hours

Developed for: One For The World Columbia

Collaborators: Cullyn O'Keefe

To tackle this complex situation, first, I decided to untangle One For The World Columbia's needs. Since there are more than one material to be done and each material has different target audience and different expected outcome, I have to sit down with Chairs of the chapter to prioritize the need for each material. To be prioritized, the project needed to meet some important criteria. First, how badly do we need this material? If it is sorely needed such as some important and complex data is an essential part to our main pitch, then it needed to be visualized quickly.

Second, does it fit well into Columbia's academic calendar? As we operate on campuses, there is a fixed timeline to follow. For example, at the beginning of semesters, there will be a recruitment week, where training materials are more important. However, at the end of semesters, One For The World holds a pledge week on campuses across the country. Subsequently, short and impactful materials such as flyers and posters are more important as they are more effective in drawing attention from potential donors.

Moreover, if the material can easily be scaled to other campuses, it was granted priority as it can make a bigger impact.

Then, the winners were chosen. As we were in the middle of a semester, given these criteria, I determined that a material explaining One For The World's 5 top charities are the number one priority as it could be scale to other chapters. Then, as the end of the semester approaching, a quick factsheet about impact One For The World Columbia has made since its founding in 2016 would be the most effective in pitching new donors in our pledge week. Finally, a document should be ready for when recruiting season at the beginning of the next semester.

I began the first project, top 5 charities project, by determining which media would best communicate the information effectively. At the time, the only place that chapters can go to learn about the information was this page on One For The World's official site, which features long writings and detailed data accounting for why these charities made it to the top 5. This created a problem for chapters when pitching with potential new members or donors as there were no visual cues to help the audience understand what these charities do quickly. I finally chose infographic as my solution as it can contend information of 5 charities within one piece, suitable for using visual cue to explain the context, and easy to share (hence higher potential to spread the word). After deciding which platform to use, the rest is not too hard. The key of this piece is to present 5 charities and why it deserves our audiences' attention and donation money. I decided that a short blurb for each charity and graphic as a visual cue showing what these charities do would be enough. After all, we want a material that can convey message in one look.

Here is what my design of this infographic looks like.

During my process of designing this infographic, a challenge I encountered was that each charities doesn't have what marketers call unique selling proposition (USP), which both helps audience/consumers differentiate between products and help the audience/consumers memorize the product. It makes sense that these cost-effective charities hasn't put much thought into their marketing but, rather, all their effort goes directly to making changes. However, that means this becomes my job. This is when my undergraduate degree in Advertising comes in handy. I cut any non-essential pieces of information until I can describe the charities in a few sentences. USP comes into my consideration when making choices on visual cues too. Although more than one charity's work involves helping children, I chose to have only one that is "the baby one" out of all five.

In the end, these charities became "the medical one", "the baby one", "the money transfer one", "the mosquito one", and "the commodity one" with short blurb, highlighted keywords, and graphic design as visual cues.

After I sent out this design, to my surprise, it became a huge hit! Chapters across the country used it for both intended and unintended purposes. (One campus printed the infographic, which was never meant to be a printed, to use in their tabling events.) I was very glad to see that my design was well-received and made a real impact.

One important thing I learnt from this project was that, in a student organization context, it was very important to think about access to assets and customization to assets. As One For The World has numbers of chapters around the country, there is bound to be differences in needs and context this asset is going to be presented. So, making several variations of the same design, such as making some adjustment to this infographic and turn it into five letter-sized document that is more printer-friendly, might be an important time-saving measure for many campuses and a good way to maximize the impact this design can make.

Villanova chapter printed out my design to use in their tabling event.

Title: Flyer summarizing One For The World Columbia's impact as a chapter

Tool: Piktochart and Photoshop

Time in Development: 20 hours

Developed for: One For The World Columbia

Collaborators: Kennan McClung, and Ethan Hasting

Then, I began working on my second project. This is the quick factsheet about impact One For The World Columbia has made since its founding in 2016. It was intended to be used on our pledge week to pitch new donors. According to the situation this asset will be used, I chose to make this material a printed flyer. This is because, when we table, some locations might not have strong internet connection. Also, we want to give tangible material that ensure higher chance of our audience studying material after they left our table. There are a couple of points that this flyer needs to make.

First, it needs to show Columbia students how much 1% of their average income after graduation can make difference in the world. I might have to step in and explain a little more here for people who might not be familiar with One For The World's practice. So, One For The World asks people to pledge 1% of their income to highly effective charities (hence the name ONE For The World). In this case, people we are asking for pledges are students, so we are asking for their future income after their graduation.

The second point is that we want to invoke the sense of campus spirit. Historically, Columbia student bodies (or student bodies of any universities in big cities) doesn't have strong sense of belonging to the campus. However, we want to stress that, together, we can accomplish something greater than ourselves. We are hoping that this message could be effective in recruiting new members as well.

So, here is my design of the flyer.

As you can see, there is quite a lot of information that my team (shoutout to Kennan McClung and Ethan Hasting) and I deemed essential. We planned that our audience should spend some time studying these numbers and messages, so this amount of information should not be problem. However, we are still competing with other media to grab our audiences' attention so this data-based flyer needs to be interesting-looking enough and the data have to not look too intimidating.

The main challenge of designing this flyer is to manage a small space (half a letter-sized paper) to contain all the data we have, as well as still being interesting. Choosing how to present the data is also a big part of this design. We interpret 1% of average Columbia graduate income ($648) into numbers of lives saved through three top OFTW charities, which was represented through graphic icons of the charities' unique selling proposition. This part, along with One For The World branding as the header took about 2/3 of the space. So, the impact One For The World Columbia made will have to be compact but still convey the magnitude of impact we made. I decided to do this through numbers to stay aligned with the theme of this flyer.

Captured Jan 10, 2019
Columbia chapter ranked as number one on One For The World record (Jan 10, 2019)

We used this design, along with my top 5 charities infographic, in fall 2018 pledge week at Columbia and we made 120 pledges and 350% growth in donation money. It is the highest number of pledges IN HISTORY OF ONE FOR THE WORLD! Obviously, this is not a direct result from my designs but I am happy that I am a part of this effort to make the world a better place for people living in extreme poverty.


Title: On-boarding document for new One For The World Columbia members

Tool: Piktochart and Photoshop

Time in Development: 12 hours

Developed for: One For The World Columbia

Collaborators: Hannah Katz

And it was finally time for preparing for the next semester recruiting season. We have a new member manual already but it was in a text-heavy Google document that was not too inviting. The OFTW Columbia board wanted me to make this manual more reader-friendly.

For a pdf version, please click here.

My intent was to chunk these long tests into smaller portions and give it some visual cues to lessen cognitive load for readers, all the while capitalizing on my other designs, to both save time and maintain brand consistency.

One of the major keys I implemented in this design is directory icons. The icons act as a guide for readers throughout the manual. They give readers a sequence, which can both give readers a sense of what to come and save readers' time finding information.

So far, this manual hasn't been put into use yet but I believe that, with my new design, new members of One For The World Columbia will use shorter time learning about our organization and have better time doing it too.

After developing these assets, I’m confident that, even with heavy data, bite-sized eye-catching material can be developed and it can still communicate the message needed. With common tools and creativity, it is possible to turn numbers and blocks of text into memorable and engaging narratives.


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