Christel and Martijn have an idea to make the world a better place
The big idea
Martijn Draaisma and Christel van den Berg, the founders of Favoraid, a social crowd funding platform, recognized the need to have a platform where non-profit organizations from around the world come together and tell their stories about charity projects conducted to reach individual and corporation donors to charitable projects.
Their purpose was to create a unique platform where organizations could showcase their projects to raise funds with the help of extra ordinary features.
Some specific elements in mind
Christeland Martjin wanted to have a solution which would offer charities the possibility to tell stories along a project cycle, stories which could be combined with a project timeline. Stories and timeline should keep donors updated on the project and willing to spend again to lead it to a successful conclusion. They also knew that the platform for individual and corporate donors would need to be different.
The platform should be like a village square where all the stakeholders could gather to seek and offer support i.e. non-profit organization, volunteers working for those non-profit organization, individual donors, corporations and their employees.
And a big challenge
While Martjin and Christel had a good idea about the solution they wanted they did not have the experience to develop a blueprint with specific functions. And they needed a budget estimate to get the ball rolling. This was the moment when Favoraid and Helios found each other.
Phase 1:Requirements Analysis & Resource Estimate
Both sides collaborated for 5 weeks to define the solution before we could estimate the effort required. From Helios side we involved a business analyst, a technology architect and an interactive prototype designer.
First we needed to understand the needs of different stakeholders involved in developing and running the platform or using it. Here are some of the statements received.
Funding Manager of a Charity Organization
"I need a platform where we can tell our project stories and update them during all the stages of the project for our donors, so that they can track the usage of their donated amount:
It should be easy to plan, schedule, edit and publish the information where it should work like a project management tool.
As a manager, it must be convenient to keep a track online of the project activities from one dashboard, so we save time and focus on what we are good at, which is serving the society.
It would be fantastic if I and my colleagues were able to submit project pictures or videos directly from the field to the website backend using our mobile phones."
"I wish to give back to society in some way, big or small. But I need to know a few things so that I can donate without worrying:
I want to select a cause I truly believe in. It would help me take decisions if I had information on miscellaneous projects available at one place.
I want transparency, I want to track project activities to know how the project is really being implemented."
"We are part of society and wish to contribute in many ways. When selecting recipients of donations we look for:
Not-for-profit organizations and projects which align with our corporate values and beliefs.
Projects where we can track how the money is being used. This kind of transparency results in a trustworthy relationship.
Projects where we get the information we need to communicate to our stakeholders, employees and consumers what we do to support social causes.”
Favoraid Platform Manager:
"After conducting the survey and understanding what every type of donor needs, it was clear that we would need to develop a robust platform enabling all of our stakeholders to communicate and get information easily and for individuals and corporations to donate smoothly. In addition to this the platform should provide us with functions alerting us of any abuse in content and allowing us to efficiently distribute funds received from donors."
After 5 weeks we had developed:
We had developed an interactive prototype of the following solution:
Selection of Technology and Architecture
We decided to go with
We had defined development and test phases and estimated the respective resource requirements.
Phase 2: Development
A dedicated Drupal team supported by an Android and an iOS Developer, a designer and a Front End Developer worked over a period of 15 months to finish the project.
A web application which allows charities to tell stories. This application contains a wide variety of functions and can be de used 'industry-wide'. Individual not-for-profit organisations don’t need to invest time and cost into developing solutions and maintaining and hosting it. The application is optimized for all devices: mobile, tablet and desktop offering the best user experience to any type of visitor. Last but not least the project stories can be easily published on charities’ own website and on that of their sponsoring partners.
Martijn and Christelnow have a platform which allows them to reach a larger group of worldwide donors, who can support a project or charity organisation of their liking, be it individuals contributing small amounts or companies giving more in the framework of their Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
Donors and charity organizations can easily integrate the stories on the platform onto their own webpages, thus efficiently demonstrate their social responsibility activities, acquire new donations respectively.
In addition a renowned not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands partnered with Favoraid once the platform was introduced. They have become a supporting partner and helped brand the system.
Testimonials on Favoraid’s webpage are proof of the fact that we jointly achieved the objective. We just cite one: ‘‘I have to say that the site looks perfect. It is the work of professionals. And it certainly is a stimulus to appear there as a sponsor.’’
Christel and Martijn are happy as their stakeholders are happy! As they write on their website: “Our Charity Story app is the digital highway for charities to collect authentic multimedia content from the ground in a frequent, direct, cost-reducing and personal way”.
We have seen the platform evolve from the consulting stage to wireframe, then to the first prototype, and further to development and finally investment by a renouned non-profit organization. Doing so we have enhanced our knowledge in this field. We continue to engage in the support of this project.