Finding new ways to amplify generosity

Generosity Expressions

Are you a generous person?


But how do you really know? And how does your generosity operate in the world?

These were the questions that Matthew Randerson, Product Owner of Generosity Expressions, has been thinking about constantly over the past year.

What I really liked about working with Highland is that the team has a level of competency around product-market fit and customer experience, but they also understand the technical language. Everyone I’ve interacted with has a great balance of customer expertise and technical expertise.
Matt Randerson
Product Owner, Generosity Expressions

“Generosity is kind of tired. Everybody claims it. From the most ethical of companies to the least ethical of companies. When you ask someone, ‘Hey are you a generous person?’ of course they’re going to say, ‘Yeah, I think I am.’”

But there are more nuanced ways to think about generosity, particularly when it intersects with faith and culture.

That’s what Barna Group, a market research firm specialized in studying religious beliefs and behavior in America, found when they conducted a study on generosity in Christian communities in June 2019.

“We wanted to turn up the volume on the value of generosity,” Matt shared. “Sometimes seeing yourself as generous requires a broader picture.”

Turning the volume up on generosity

Generosity Expressions did initial testing and validation of their ideas around generosity through in-person workshops at churches.

Church leaders loved the new information about unique generosity styles, and were eager to learn more and take a next step.

“An in-person workshop is not really scalable,” said Matt. So they knew it was time to explore the possibility of a digital tool.

The core of Thrivent’s member base is Christian church-goers, so they wanted to create a digital tool that pastors would find valuable and easy-to-use.

“We knew if we could deliver value to the pastors, we could build more trust,” said Matt. “We did a lot of value-proposition exploration and human-centered design. It was very front-end-of-the purchase-funnel thinking.”

Making the physical digital

Generosity Expressions used a rapid-prototyping approach when developing the product, doing learning loops, creating an MVP, assessing product-market fit, and validating proof of concept.

When their product was ready for primetime, they brought in Highland to work with them on development. “We knew Highland had OutSystems expertise and we needed to bring it to the marketplace as fast and efficiently as possible.”

How long did it take us to build the initial prototype? Approximately 45 days.

We began with a simple MVP site that allowed us to get the product into market and begin testing:

Highland’s deep background in researching, designing, and building digital products was an asset to Matt’s team throughout the development process. After a few months, we iterated on the look and feel of the site, landing on a new homepage that was more aligned to the Product Owner’s original design vision.

Highland took the concept for Generosity Expressions and turned it into a digital product that is now live and available for public use.

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