After Hurricane Katrina + the earthquake in Haiti, nonprofits like the Red Cross came under harsh scrutiny for mismanaging funds and building significantly less housing compared to the amount of money they were given. In this hackathon, we realized that a lot of charitable giving is difficult both due to the sheer number of charities and a difficulty for people to find organizations that most accurately represent what they were passionate about. After going to the IBM booth, we believed that we could harness language analysis tools to identity hotspots and better encourage potential donors to find causes relevant to their interests.
What it does
Cause Bar uses the IBM Bluemix API to grab latest news stories around the most popular charities in charitywatch.org. Users can search for the charities that they currently invest in, and our data will grab and visualize the following qualities: -We'll take common keywords from news sources mentioning relevant charities and use them to visualize graph connections that suggest other causes users may be interested in. -We use the IBM Tone Analyzer to identify and guess at popular sentiments in the news surrounding these causes. We take a general "sentiment score" users can easily refer to when checking out how a charity is doing. -We also scrape the web for the latest news surrounding an important cause, and provide a management platform for users to see which causes they are giving to!
How we built it
We built this product as a Node application, with integrations with the IBM Bluemix API for data processing and the Square API, to handle payments.
Challenges we ran into
In the beginning, Bluemix was a little hard to set up, and it was also difficult to be careful with our requests / day limit given the free account. We ended up having to make a bunch of accounts!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
It was definitely really rewarding to be able to see analytics we wrote come together in a well-visualized format. We had a LOT of news data that we were able to play with, and being able to see it come to life and allow us to make general judgements about our nonprofit investments made our work feel worth it.
What's next for Cause Bar
This was definitely a rewarding challenge, both in learning about how Bluemix operates as well as how nonprofits do. We want to use this knowledge to arm our own opinions of charitable giving, and we would love to develop Cause Bar to create better, more meaningful analysis for general users!