The Giving Map is a not-for-profit, grant-funded initiative that created a responsive, data-driven COVID-19 relief portal helping grassroots donors give where the need is greatest.

I shared our "Actionable Data" methodology for developing the web application in this article, published in The Startup shortly after our launch.

Using real-time case data updates from Johns Hopkins University and a custom-built API, we built a system that automatically flagged the areas of the United States hardest hit by the pandemic. Through a partnership with Charity Navigator, we invited users to respond. In 2021, one third of nonprofits reported they were in danger of closing their doors to the pandemic. This timely response provided donors nationwide with a way to give, in any of ten categories.

Our initial release launched just eight weeks after kickoff. User surveys showed the design was popular and effective for both checking infection rates and making charitable donations. We continued to fine-tune usability for desktop and mobile audiences. Thanks to our generous cohort of volunteers, we explored additional applications for our open source interactive map template, such as responding to climate disasters and poverty zones.

In December 2020, we launched the Hunger Map, which gives donors a way to take immediate action on issues of food insecurity across the country.

The full open source code base is available at

ROLES: User experience design, project management

Posted on Jun 13, 2021

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