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About the research
We want you to know exactly what the research is about before you start using the If Then Give app. Please take a few moments to read the following detailed information about this research, before giving your consent.
This research is part of a partnership between Oxfam Australia (ABN 18 055 208 636), Lancaster University and the University of Edinburgh. We, the researchers from Lancaster University and the University of Edinburgh, are a group of interdisciplinary experts in designing and developing new technologies and studying the ways people use them in real-world contexts.
We have worked with Oxfam Australia to explore more direct, accountable and transparent ways of giving to charitable causes, enabling donors to better control their pledges to causes they support in a secure and trusting environment.
As part of a previous stage of our research, we conducted an initial pilot (between September and December 2019), focussing on the exploration of novel power dynamics between NGOs and donors and the value of conditionality in charitable giving. As part of this next phase, we are aiming to get a broad and honest feedback from current and potential donors about the If Then Give concept, app, and specific Oxfam Australia campaigns. In addition, we are monitoring longitudinal effects of its usage in relation to traditional fundraising engagement.
The If Then Give study
This research aims to involve a large number of participants to use the If Then Give App until 1st September 2022. By enabling a wide range of people to try this app in everyday situations, we are aiming to explore the potential of the If Then Give app (the app, our app). This research will enable us to:
Gain feedback from current and potential donors about the If Then Give concept, app, and specific Oxfam Australia campaigns.
Monitor the longitudinal effects of using the If Then Give app in relation to traditional fundraising engagement
Develop understanding of how the platform could be tailored to specific future fundraising products, thematic areas of Oxfam Australia’s programs and towards specific audiences.
Test the technical robustness of the If Then Give platform and mobile app through an ‘in-the-wild’ trial with real-world users.
Gain insight into the expectations, assumptions and challenges of donors when using programmable pledges for charitable giving, helping us to refine the design of the app and the technology behind it.
Understand the feasibility and appeal or programmable donations for different kinds of donors.
The If Then Give App
You will be able to use the If Then Give app we have developed in collaboration with Oxfam Australia. Using the app you can:
Make pledges to give a certain amount of money during a set period of time
Set up the conditions of a contract which, if satisfied will trigger the release of funds from your If Then Give account balance. These can be related to local and world events, using information from news, social media or pre-authorised sources that you trust. E.g. You can arrange a donation to be released from your If Then Give account balance each time people in the Pacific are exposed to a tropical cyclone using information from an official weather centre.
Set a maximum limit for the total donation outlined in the contract. You can also decide whether your donation is a one-off amount or frequent smaller amounts. Your funds are held in a digital contract.
Receive a notification when your pledge is fulfilled.
Decide what to do with any funds that remain in your If Then Give account balance. If your contract expires and the relevant conditions weren’t met (e.g., there weren’t any cyclones during your contract) then any remaining funds are returned to your in-app account, and you can pledge them to another campaign or to Oxfam Australia’s general donations fund to be used in support of Oxfam’s efforts around the world.
Who can take part
We invite anyone interested to take part in our survey who meet the following requirements:
Over the age of 18 years
Owning a compatible mobile phone (Android or iOS) with regular internet access (via mobile network or WiFi). Please check the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to find out if your phone is compatible.
Sufficient language proficiency in English. The app and all information material is in English. The minimum requirement for participation in this trial is that you are able to understand the Terms & Conditions, data privacy terms, the research consent and the participating information sheet (this page).
You will not be able to take part in this research if:
You are under the age of 18,
You do not own a compatible smartphone, or have no regular access to internet
Your circumstances may unduly influence decisions to consent
Please read all documents and make sure you understand everything. If you have any questions, please contact the researchers by sending an email to [email protected].
Downloading the App
The app is available for most Android smartphones (Google Play) and iPhones (Apple App Store). You can install and use the app on more than one of your own devices at the same time, however, we ask users to not share their access credentials with others. Although If Then Give is simple to use, we have videos and guidance to help you. We are also available to assist you via email or phone.
Using the App
Participants like you will be invited to start using the app in waves from February 2022 onwards. To guarantee the best performance for all users, we may temporarily restrict new registrations by using a queue that works on a first come first serve basis.
You can explore many functions and the content of the app after you are fully enrolled. However, in order to use all functions of the app, you will be required to top-up your account with a minimum of $10 using a credit or debit card. For the following weeks, and until the end of this research, you will be free to use the app however you like and you can delete your account or uninstall the app at any time.
Please check the Terms & Conditions, refund policy and the participant information (this page) to understand what happens to remaining funds if you stop using our application.
Surveys and Interviews
While participating in this research you may receive invitations to take short in-app surveys about your recent experience with the If Then Give app. These surveys are voluntary and you can disable the notifications in your profile settings if you prefer not to receive a notification when a new survey is available.
In addition, researchers from Lancaster University will contact a small number of participants via email, inviting them to participate in remote interviews with our researchers. To represent a wide range of people and experiences, we may select participants for the interview. The remote interviews will take place via phone or digital conference software and will be scheduled at a convenient time for you. The interviews will be audio recorded, but the recordings will be deleted after transcription. All transcripts will be anonymised.
Compensating you for your help
This research is conducted in collaboration with Oxfam Australia (ABN: 18 055 208 636) which is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient. Donations of AUD$2 or more to Oxfam are tax deductible in Australia. Participation in this research is voluntary. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide financial compensation for participating in the trial. However, by taking part in our research, you are supporting Oxfam Australia to reach their goal of “ending the injustice of poverty”.
If we invite you to participate in remote interview(s), we will offer you a AUD$10 shopping voucher for each interview session as a thank you for giving up more of your time to talk to us.
Protecting your personal data
We are committed to respecting your privacy and have set out how we will manage your personal information here.
Withdrawing from the research
Participation in this research is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time without giving us a reason to do so. You can withdraw from the participation
actively (which will delete all data we captured from you from the Lancaster University and University of Edinburgh systems)
implicit (by stopping to use the app)
To actively withdraw from the survey, please click on the “Delete account” button in the “More” section of your If Then Give app. A researcher will get in touch with you to verify some information and will disable your account. After two weeks, we will delete all data associated with that account and remaining pledges will be terminated.
Withdrawing implicitly means that you uninstall or stop using the app. In this case we can keep your data for evaluation/ research purposes and active pledges will remain active until they expire.
Please note, we are unable to refund any credit you loaded up onto the app when you withdraw from the study as any amount loaded to the app represents a charitable gift/donation to Oxfam Australia. Once you decide to actively withdraw from our study, our research team will contact you to ask how your remaining funds shall be used. You can
either donate the funds unrestricted to Oxfam Australia, or
assign funds to another pledge or campaign that is offered within the app.
If you do not respond to the question, funds will be donated to Oxfam Australia’s general donations fund after 14 days. If you decide to withdraw implicitly, your pledged funds will be donated based on the conditions (and their occurrence). Remaining funds of expired pledges will be returned and added to your account credit. Your account credit will stay active until the trial ends, and are available for use in the app if you decide to participate in the trial again at a later stage. Remaining funds in your account credit following the end of the trial will be donated to Oxfam Australia and accounted as unrestricted funds.
Please also note that following any withdrawal from the research project, Oxfam Australia will continue to hold the limited personal information that it has collected about you (name, contact details and donation information) in order to process donations and issue receipts, satisfy regulatory obligations and update you on any future opportunities to engage with or support Oxfam Australia. Oxfam Australia will hold this information in accordance with its regulatory obligations and its policies. Should you wish to opt out of receiving any updates on Oxfam Australia’s work, please contact Oxfam Australia at [email protected]
Funds within the If Then Give App
The If Then Give app allows you to create rules about how and to which projects you like to give to. The following section will outline how you can donate through the If Then Give (e.g. how your funds are stored, settled and used). However, for more information about pledges please see the Create a Pledge, Track Your Pledge, Search for Projects and Personalise a Pledge tutorial pages.
To simplify the technical and legal requirements, including the issuance of donation receipts and the safekeeping of the funds, the deposit (or top-up) of funds (see below) constitutes a tax-deductible charitable gift/donation to Oxfam Australia which can be used to support the projects offered in the app.
We, the researchers from Lancaster and Edinburgh provide the technical infrastructure and app for this pilot at no cost, this means that besides a payment processing fee through the payment platform provider Stripe Inc. (1.75% + A$0.30 for domestic Australian and 2.9% + A$0.30 for international cards) all funds raised through this app will be used to support Oxfam’s efforts around the world. You can read more about "where the money goes".
If Then Give account balance
Your "If Then Give account balance" displays the total remaining (or available) balance of all "top-ups" that have been applied to your If Then Give app account but not yet been assigned to an If Then Give pledge. We refer to your If Then Give account balance as your “account balance”, “balance”, or “current balance”. To view your current If Then Give account balance, go to the "home” screen on your If Then Give app or check the balance in your "profile" page.
Each time you create a new If Then Give pledge, your maximum amount for a particular pledge is deducted from your If Then Give account balance and assigned to the digital pledge. Digital pledges cannot be cancelled after the "cool-down" period (defined for each If Then Give campaign) ends. Pledged funds (i.e. the amount you specified for the case a condition was met) are automatically released from your If Then Give account if your conditions are met.t. If an If Then Give pledge expires before the relevant conditions are met, any remaining funds will be returned to your account balance can be used to create another pledge.
Any unused If Then Give balance will remain associated with your If Then Give account. You can only create pledges up to the maximum of your current If Then Give account balance.
Your account balance may be used to create available pledges provided in the If Then Give app, or as part of a one-off donation to Oxfam Australia. Available If Then Give campaigns/pledges are subject to change at Oxfam Australia's discretion.
Note that the projects described in If Then Give app pledges are indicative of the kinds of projects that your donation can support. Your donation can support projects like the ones described in the If Then Give app, as well as other life-changing Oxfam projects. This means your donation will be used to best meet the needs of a community. For example, we won’t distribute emergency humanitarian supplies if not needed but may instead help communities tackle poverty in other life-changing ways. By working in this way, your generous support will go to where it is needed most.
How funds are stored
Your "If Then Give account balance" displays the total remaining/available balance. The funds are held by an authorised third party or Oxfam Australia. At no time, we, the researcher, have any access to the funds.
In the case of significant technical issues, for example, when the app becomes unusable, or data relevant the allocation of pledges has been lost, or in the case this research has to be terminated early, any remaining funds in your account will be donated unrestricted to Oxfam Australia, but the researchers and Oxfam Australia will make the best effort to ensure that funds are paid out to the indicative cause selected by the donor.
In order for you to use all features of the If Then Give app, you are required to “load up” your "If Then Give balance" by using the provided payment service provider “Stripe Inc.” subject to the Stripe Checkout User Terms of Service conditions.
Any funds added represents an unrestricted charitable gift/donation to Oxfam Australia. Oxfam Australia agrees to undertake its best effort to hold the funds in trust for the designated beneficiary or indicative cause and furthermore agrees to use any funds exclusively as specified by the donor (you), with the exception of significant technical issues. Oxfam Australia is able to issue tax receipts via email after you loaded up funds.
When you deposit funds, we may ask you if you want to compensate the costs of the payment processing fees. This step is voluntary, however, we would like you to understand that non compensated payment processing fees may be deducted from the beneficiaries balance by the amount of the costs actually incurred. Our payment provider Stripe Inc. charges a processing fee of 1.75% + A$0.30 for top-ups using domestic Australian cards and .9% + A$0.30 for international cards.
Settlement of funds
Pledged funds (i.e. the amount you specified for the case a condition was met) will be transferred to the account(s) or funding pools of your selected beneficiaries if your conditions are met. However, we would like you to understand that this does not constitute a real-time transfer of fiat monetary funds to the respective beneficiary but that funds are settled on a regular basis at Oxfam Australia's discretion.
This research is expected to end on 1st September 2022. After this date, you can continue using the app, but you will not be able to create a new pledge. Any active pledges will continue until they are fulfilled or expire. Except we inform you before 1st August 2022, you won’t be able to log-in to the app after 1st August 2022.
We are unable to refund any remaining credit you loaded up onto the app after the study ends as any amount loaded to the app represents a charitable gift/donation to Oxfam Australia. Any remaining credit in your Account Balance at the time that the study ends will be donated unrestricted to Oxfam Australia.
The If Then Give app is provided “as is”. The researchers, or Oxfam Australia makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding If Then Give app, including any representation that the services thereunder will be uninterrupted or error-free. To the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, the researchers or Oxfam Australia disclaims any implied or statutory warranty, including any implied warranty of title, non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose in respect of the If Then Give app.
For the avoidance of doubt, the If Then Give App is a pre-release in a research context, and expected to contain defects which may be material, and are not expected to operate at the level of performance or compatibility of a final, generally available product offering. Thus, this software may not operate accurately and may be substantially modified prior to public availability or withdrawn at any time, in which case any remaining funds are being donated unrestricted to Oxfam Australia. Accordingly, access to and use of the If Then Give app is entirely at customer’s own risk.
In no event shall the researchers or Oxfam Australia, be liable for any damage whatsoever arising out of the use of or inability to use the If Then Give app, even if the researchers or Oxfam Australia have been advised of the possibility of such damages. You are advised to safeguard important data, to use caution and not to rely in any way on the correct functioning or performance of any pre-release product.
Do you have any questions?
If you have any questions or any of the information about the study please email: [email protected]
Researcher Contact Information
Ludwig Trotter D23, Infolab21
Phone: +44 1524 510340
Nigel Davies Infolab21
Phone: +44 1524 510340
Prof. Tracy Hall Chair in Software Engineering
Phone: +44 (0)1524 595012