Supercharging the charity sector with digital transformation projects

Empowering the charity sector with digital transformation projects is about doing more than just making a new website or tweaking a little SEO. Real results come from bespoke API development that enables new or enhanced functionality – like what we’ve done for Pennies. This microdonation platform needed a watertight way to get those thousands of little transactions flowing freely from major retailers to the people who need them most. We supported these efforts with the right tools and know-how.

The state of play

Pennies is a reimagining of the till charity box but in a new, modern way. With less overall cash use, kind-hearted souls need a new way to give. The Pennies’ approach is to create a simple plug-in for merchants on platforms like Magento that allows shoppers to donate a few pence to charity at the end of a transaction. They had an API already. But it wasn’t up to the task for Tier 1 and Tier 2 merchants. We stepped in, supporting their work in the charity sector with digital transformation interventions that enriched their API functionality. 

Our digital transformation support

We helped them build out essential features like multi-currency reports and the ability for the API to accept them. With the extra volumes, they also needed additional security around calls in the API. So, we enhanced that. We also moved the API from one service into a split solution with a separate database and web servers. This added redundancy and speed; boosted by Amazon’s Relational Database Service. Then, we restructured the AWS servers so that, if there’s an issue, secondary servers are automatically deployed to support the main server. Lastly, we set up monitors for everything from response time to API calls. That way, we’ll know before a small hiccup turns into a problem. The monitoring and server automation means we can respond faster and -often- automatically.

How digital transformation projects make a difference in the charity sector

Digital transformation projects like these can increase giving in a number of ways. First, expanded capabilities allow the charity to reach new funding pools. Just like how our new API lets Pennies now pitch to larger retailers that have longer roadmaps and enhanced requirements. Next, improving on the base functionality meant there was a smaller chance of issues that might impact these retailers; putting them off from joining the scheme. Furthermore, boosting capability meant that Pennies now had a system that could handle 1,200 donations a second, allowing up to 10M donations a day. With that increased scope, more robust reporting meant they could still see and export the fine details of transactions. And everything was wrapped up in a nice bow with better security, better BCP measures and more speed. 

The third sector is often hamstrung by the technology it has to work with. If this is the situation you find yourself in, talk to us about our work in the charity sector with digital transformation projects like this Pennies API project. We’ll share how we can help you get more donations rolling in with the clever use of bespoke technology.

Book a FREE introductory chat now.