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Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Brief

SVP website

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP Ireland) is Ireland’s largest voluntary charitable organisation, founded in Dublin in 1944. SVP has over 11,500 volunteers and is active in every county, with eight regional offices and over 200 shops around the country. SVP helps people in difficult times and has a compassionate mission to end poverty in Ireland.

The charity’s brief was to create a new accessible website that promoted its work and services, maximised web traffic and strengthened its core brand message to people who needed SVP’s services, and to encourage people to become donors or volunteers.

The Matrix team was inspired by the compassion of the people within SVP and their commitment to help the 19,000+ people who reach out for help every year.

Matrix delivered a new platform that enhanced the user experience and built awareness of SVP’s essential services. It’s an engaging, accessible and inclusive site that bridges the gap between users and the charity.

SVP tablet website
SVP Mobile Website

The process included in-person workshops with a large group of key stakeholders representing all the different areas of SVP to identify the website vision, user journeys, personas, benchmarking and information architecture (sitemap).

The new site optimises the user journey, with a focus on streamlining the crucial ‘Get help’ and ‘Donate’ calls to action, through a mobile-first, design-thinking approach. The bespoke design is tailored to visitors of all abilities, with a subtle colour palette and microinteractions, engaging images and prominent case studies highlighting SVP’s national and community work.

The project had an immovable deadline to go live in time for the Annual Appeal at Christmas, and to handle the busiest and most important two months of the year, when SVP receives on average 800 requests every day. The project was highly collaborative, and the whole SVP team worked tirelessly with Matrix to ensure we met our challenging but realistic milestones, deadlines and sign-offs. This dedication helped us deliver a challenging project and a rewarding new website that Matrix and St. Vincent de Paul can be proud of.


Key features

  • 01
    Entire donation process has been streamlined through implementing gravity forms that reduce steps for the user — people can make once-off donations and regular direct debit donations via the website in both euro and sterling;
  • 02
    CRM integration (Microsoft Dynamics two-way integration);
  • 03
    Document repository for published research and learning materials;
  • 04
    Streamlined user journey through the Gravity Forms plugin, for online forms and online donations;
  • 05
    Careers RSS feed from People HR external jobs portal;
  • 06
    Integration with third-party Complyfile for registering to become a volunteer;
  • 07
    ‘Flexiblock’ modular template system — blocks that conform to the UI toolkit can be combined to build custom pages, offering full flexibility while maintaining consistency with the rest of the site. (Training provided by our Technical Lead);
  • 08
    Auto Address integration on all address fields, which auto-populates the full address when users type in the field (manual entry is also an option). This simplifies the process for the user, removes human error and sanitises the data being sent across the CRM. This feature is integrated with both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland address databases;
  • 09
    Interactive map that highlights all of SVP’s services including all the shops across Ireland. The shops are integrated with Google My Business;
  • 10
    Geolocation — the website automatically detects Euro/Sterling depending on IP location.


To create a modern, engaging new platform that promotes and strengthens St. Vincent de Paul’s position as Ireland’s leading charity organisation.

  • Improve and enhance the user experience to help build awareness of SVP’s programme of work and to build the donor and volunteer community;
  • Provide a platform to showcase SVP activities, services, information and news to the charity’s target audience;
  • Promote and highlight the research publications and learning material within the SVP organisation;
  • Incorporate digital tools to promote the various areas of work across the organisation;
  • Prioritise GDPR compliance of all data handled.


Collaboration, research and UX/UI design-thinking methodology drives a rewarding, successful project.

  • Discovery process to crystallise the goals and website vision, and create user journeys, personas and information architecture;
  • UX audit to thoroughly research the current website pain points, benchmark peer websites, review analytics and and conduct user behaviour analysis;
  • Moderated user testing of the old website as well as all key stages of the process to verify and confirm all UX, UI and development;
  • Custom graphic design phase, from wireframes to final templates;
  • Development phase with ongoing feedback from SVP on test site;


A huge transformation for SVP on many metrics, driven by premium user experience — and the dedication of two project teams.
Upon launch, the website has been successful in fulfilling the following KPIs (figures from launch November 2022 to march 2023, compared with the same period one year earlier (November 2021 to March 2022):

  • Number of users tripled
  • Organic traffic increased by 75%
  • Average homepage engagement time tripled
  • Task completion time for the donation process reduced by 63%
  • Task completion time for the volunteer process reduced by 68%
  • Task completion time for the request help process reduced by 47%
  • ‘Donate’ page bounce rate — six times lower
  • ‘Volunteer’ page bounce rate reduced by 76%
  • ‘Request help pages bounce rate — 44 times lower


“I want to say an absolutely massive thank you to everyone at Matrix for the fantastic work they have done over the last six months. I know this was a huge task, and the amount of work Matrix did was above and beyond. The team was always on hand to work through any issues or problems and always brought extraordinary creativity… their patience always shone through.”

Linda O'Connell

SVP Head of Digital Marketing & Communications