As you probably know, here at JustGiving we love innovation: finding ways to make online giving easier, quicker, and even more enjoyable. When we released our APIs, we were basically saying, “Here is the framework to our online giving platform, now let’s see what you can do with it!”
And that is exactly what a talented developer and serial fundraiser, Simon Painter, has done. It wasn’t enough for Simon to have founded an online community of fundraising volunteers called the Ragabonds who have raised around £450,000 since 2005, it wasn’t enough for him to build other intelligent tools for online giving like the Virtual Coffee Break, nor was it enough for him to run through our JustGiving Awards in a pink onesie! He has now found a way of shaping our extensive data into a clever app on Twitter that taps into the power of microdonations.
We’ll let Simon explain how it works, and how your charity can start to collect donations on Twitter, using his app:
Recently JustGiving and Vodafone took the best qualities of microdonatios to the SMS space with the creation of JustTextGiving and, just as they did when they created JustGiving, reduced the barriers even further for donors. Just as I can easily share a URL to get donations I can now share my personal shortcode to solicit instant, finite and impulsive donations from anyone who has a mobile phone. There’s no lengthy process for signup and no one is asking for commitment. I wanted to try to create something to take that to Twitter, because I believe that it currently has no serious proposition for instant giving.
This is where JustGiving shines, I quite literally couldn’t have created Giv2 with any other fundraising platform. Not only do they have an excellent API which allows me to tap into the data I need, they also provide a payment system that is mobile optimised. Most people access twitter on a smartphone so I wanted the actual payment part to work well on that device, it’s not instant if you require people to visit a computer to complete their donation and it’s not impulsive if you ask them to sign up in advance. With the JustGiving API I was able to create something that makes it possible for a twitter user to whip out their card and donate to any charity on twitter.
I used elements from past projects such as JustTweeting and the Virtual Coffee Break and large chunks of the code are lifted from both which made the intial development pretty rapid. Support and feedback from folks within the charity sector has been fabulous and I plan to improve the service as new suggestions come in. It works by monitoring tweets using the twitter API to spot the #giv2 hashtag along with an amount and a recipient and then uses a table linking charity twitter accounts to JustGiving charity IDs so a link to a mobile optimised page can be sent to the donor to complete their donation. As a regular JustGiving user I only need to log in with my JustGiving account and enter my card CVS number (that three digit number on the signature strip) and my donation is processed but those without JustGiving accounts can enter their card details and choose to save them if they think they will be making further donations; it’s important to make it easy for first time donors or they won’t come back.
To use the system as a charity you can register at giv2.it, all you will need is your twitter account details. Once you’ve logged in with your twitter account you can then search for and select your charity from the JustGiving database. After you’ve done that you’re ready to tell people about it.
Donors then just send a tweet along the lines of ‘#giv2 @m_r_f £5’ to make a donation. A personalised link is then sent to them which presents a quick completion of the donation using the JustGiving donation system. You can track the status of completed donations using the history button at giv2.it.
Giv2 is not as revolutionary as the JustGiving platform that it uses, I am standing on the shoulders of giants, and does not have the reach that the JustGiving Facebook application has (more people tend crops in Farmville than use twitter, it’s the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the world) but it’s another network of people you can tap into easily to get instant, finite and impulsive donations.
As much as we’d love to take credit for this ground-breaking app, we didn’t build it! If you’d like more information on how to use or troubleshoot on Giv2 please get in touch with its creator, Simon Painter: firstname.lastname@example.org
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