Lilian is the owner of a small business that donates 100% of her profits to charities. Mulan, the vice president of a student organization, is in charge of occasional club donation-matching efforts. Throughout it all, we realized how time-consuming it was to research the legitimacy of charities and find ways to donation match. So we built snowball, a platform to help donors like us make the biggest impact with our money.
What it does
snowball maximizes the impact of your donation by (1) helping you discover four-star legitimacy rated organizations to donate to and (2) matching you to "snowballers" who can multiply your donation through corporate matching benefits. Once you've found your match, snowball facilitates the transfer of money and proof of receipt hassle-free.
How we built it
snowball is built in Android Studio and uses the Charity Navigator and Venmo APIs.
Challenges we ran into
Both of us are newcomers to app development (and definitely Android development). Some of our biggest challenges were coming up with a simple yet compelling user flow, getting the front-end xml code to do what we wanted it to, and learning how to use API data dynamically (little to no experience in this area as well, unfortunately).
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are so proud of our mission-driven decisions, the potential impact of snowball, and our seamless functionality.
What we learned
Throughout this process, we learned a couple of lessons. (1) When building something, it's inevitable that you will spend hours on code that later becomes useless. That doesn't mean those hours weren't time well spent - they will serve you in the future. (2) Don't give up! Tasks are so daunting (especially if you're a beginner), but the feeling when everything starts coming together is worth everything. (3) Don't get stuck on perfectionism. It kills progress so easily.
What's next for snowballer
We have plans to add in a favorites page (so users to star charities they want to regularly donate to), progress and statistics in the user profile that show users how much impact they've snowballed, and fully integrate Venmo and Paypal APIs for quick and easy payment. We also hope to develop a separate user flow for snowballers to become verified, get ratings for proof of legitimacy, and show receipts of donations.