What Exactly IS Staff Picks?


Staff Picks is where we put projects that we think are going to be most enticing to donors. The goal is for donors to have an intimate and compelling place to ‘meet’ you and see a tangible way they can join in your work. Once a donor has given, we want to help you woo them into becoming a regular donor!

Our Staff Picks category gets the most traffic on DonorSee and is a great place for you to get exposure to new donors who are looking for a way to get involved. Because of this, we have to be quite selective in what we feature.

Technical Requirements

In order to be selected as a Staff Pick, a project needs to meet these technical requirements:

  1. The video is filmed horizontally
  2. The amount of the project $500 or less
  3. The audio is clear and discernible, or subtitles are provided
  4. It’s about and individual, family, or group of people – ideally a named recipient
  5. It ‘shows’ the need – in a way that helps the donor understand the context of the need and the individual
  6. The background setting illustrates the living conditions of the recipient and is relevant to what’s being said – it draws the viewer into their story
  7. The video tells the backstory and/or hopes and dreams of the recipient, empowering them
  8. Clearly and succinctly articulates how the donor will play a clear role in the recipient’s life (ex. $200 will provide glasses, which will allow the recipient to see more clearly so she can go back to school)
  9. High-quality video (not super-pixelated, not blurry, not backlit, no shaky footage.) The more beautiful, the better

There are also some disqualifying parameters:

  1. The first 10 seconds of the video contain logos, brands, excessive text, a black screen, or an edited transition
  2. A long introduction where the need is not made clear within the first 10 seconds of the video
  3. It is unclear how the money will be used or there are concerns about trust
  4. It does not portray the recipient with dignity (ex. ‘forced’ smiles, nudity, breastfeeding)
  5. It is medically graphic (ex. excessively bloody wounds, invasive or graphic filming of body parts)
  6. It contains heavy spelling or grammar errors (Our quality assurance team fixes what errors we can!)

One of our team members daily reviews every project posted. A real person is evaluating the technical quality of the project and is looking for a compelling ‘story’ that should excite donors. This means we might sometimes ‘flex’ slightly on one of the above principles because we think it’s an exceptional project.

If you focus on telling stories of need in your community, you should not have to worry about qualifying. If you feel like the above list is unattainable, please just reach out your point of contact.

Partnership Standards

In addition to the quality standards, there are also some standards of Partnership. In order to have any of your projects qualify for Staff Picks, you need to be a Partner in Good Standing and your profile needs a sufficient Social Integration score.

Because we drive a lot of donor traffic to Staff Picks, we want to make sure we are rewarding Partners who are actively engaging with DonorSee as a Partner. Your Social Integration score is a measure of how well you are partnering with DonorSee. If DonorSee donors start to fund over 70% of your projects, your projects will temporarily be ineligible for the exposure of Staff Picks. Your projects remain technically eligible and will reappear in Staff Picks as soon as your Social Integration score is at least 30%.

If you want to learn more about how the Social Integration score is calculated, check out this article. Or, schedule a call with your Partner Coordinator!

Among other things, being in Good Standing means that you are actively posting follow-ups to your projects, are engaging in relief and development that helps the global poor, and are otherwise doing what you do best. (Being responsive to our team is always a bonus!)

I hope this helps provide more clarity on how Staff Picks works! We regularly adjust our process to help ensure that the best projects are always being shown to the most donors. Your Partner Coordinator is always happy to help you figure out how you, uniquely, can improve your projects. We are here to help you!

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