We were inspired by our childhood memories of collecting coins off the street and storing them in our piggybanks. As children, even a penny was priceless to us, but as we grew up, the worth of cents diminished in the public eye. However, we realized that the accumulation of cents can drastically improve peoples' lives, so we decided to create a platform that automates and encourages small, but meaningful donations.
What is Cents for Charity?
Cents for Charity is a payment application that companies worldwide can use. Any online seller that collaborates with Cents for Charity can include a "Buy with Cents for Charity" button on their application during check out. When the customer clicks on the "Buy Cents for Charity" button, the user is brought to the Cents for Charity app where they can choose an organization to donate to. When they make their choice, their total pay gets rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra cents added are donated to the organization chosen. Users are able to add friends in the app, allowing users to become part of a community. Furthermore, users are able to see where they stand in terms of donations globally by clicking on the leaderboard. It is a quick and easy way to donate to causes that we feel the most passionate about.
How we built it
Cents for Charity is an Android application built in Java. We used Firebase for user authentication and data collection surrounding donations and points. We also implemented a controlled payment system using Square developer API.
Challenges we ran into
To demo our idea, we had to create 2 applications: a dummy "business" app and Cents for Charity. Because of this, time management was a struggle.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We engineered an application that may bring others a new point of view: that even the most minimalistic of things can be used to better our world and should not be ignored. We hope that this message offers insight to our users.
What we learned
We learned how to collaborate as a team and split up the work as evenly as possible. Almost all of our team members are completing this Hackathon from different time zones, so working on this project taught us a lot about communication. As a team with a majority of first-time hackers, we learned that a lot can be accomplished in 24 hours. For example, we were able learn many new skills such as using Android Studio and Firebase in these 24 hours.
What's next for Cents for Charity : Supporting Women One Cent at a Time
We hope to communicate with charities and organizations about how our app can best benefit them. We also aim to meet with finance experts to learn how we can best leverage the power of the penny. Finally, we aim to create our own API so businesses can easily add our "Buy with Cents for Charity" button to their own apps.