DonateSmarter
A Solution Of The People, By The People, For The People
case study 5 minutes

DonateSmarter.com is a startup company that brings donors and charities together. Their target market is individual donors and smaller charities that are under the $25,000 annual revenue threshold that the IRS proposes. Donate Smarter gives charities an easy and affordable way to avoid some of the costs associated with having a non-profit in the US, as well as free resources on how to contact and stay in touch with those donors.

The Challenge

The greatest challenge of Donate Smarter was to find the right-fit team that could polish and bring this white-label (SaaS-based) solution to its next level. Since the platform concept was yet to be defined, Donate Smarter required a different approach and faced serious challenges in matters of performance and user experience:

”We needed to upgrade our system to a new way of thinking. Users tend to lose interest when there’s an issue with a site, so we needed someone who had that eye for perfection.” – stated Mr. David G. Drake – the Founder and Innovator of DonateSmarter.com.

In addition to the above, the platform lacked a social media presence, a payment integration and a stakeholder-focused integration – features that had to be set in place.

Another challenge was the technology choice, which has been inherited from previous developers. Since the platform’s skeleton has been written on Codeigniter, migrating to another technology was time-consuming and quite expensive – a fact that EBS had to consider/take in account before initiating the project.

The Result

To boost productivity and ensure continuous improvements of the platform, EBS chose to implement Continuous Integration to Donate Smarter instances and follow the requirements based on a build-as-you-go perspective. Following specific requirements, EBS managed to deploy each and every functionality lacking from the system.

Considering the stakeholder’s needs, EBS solved the payment requirements challenge by integrating DWOLLA (an e-commerce company that provides an online payment integration). The implementation alone saved on processing resources compared to direct Credit-Card integration which would require quite higher fees as per each transaction. Considering the “Pocked-Donation” model of DonateSmarter.com, this was a crucial improvement in ensuring financial processing sustainability on the platform, reducing processing fees from as little as 1.50 USD per transaction to 0.

The Result

Several additions to the platform have been implemented to ensure transparency and Social Media interaction on a totally new level. These have been separated by specific tools, dedicated to Charities and Stakeholders. For instance, charities can now cross-share project details and status updates, corporate sponsors can “acquire” charities and display them on their own websites to screen their corporate social responsibility impact, and regular contributors can track funded projects and up-to-date with their impact.

In addition to the above, several operation-related functions have been supplied on the platform.

Based on Mr. David Drake’s experience and input, EBS managed to supply charities with tools that enabled them to deliver government reports and access donations via DonateSmarter.com – “When I speak to individual charities, they’re overwhelmed by the technology that’s available to them for free. Donors can stay connected and feel like they’re making an impact.” – stated Mr. David G. Drake – the Founder and Innovator of DonateSmarter.com

The Result

Here’s a sneak-peek of the platform’s looks after it’s redesign:

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