Whenever a donor plans to donate some amount to an organization, the first question asked is how my money will be used? Many NGOs use part of the monetary contributions, meant only for charity, for various other commercial purposes. This means many potential donors are often skeptical if their contributions will be used efficiently. Transparency has always been an issue in philanthropy. In case of donation of products, many times the items donated are either not among the required items or are already in abundance, which then defeats the entire purpose. Although NGOs are always in need of products like school, food, healthcare supplies etc., often, there is inconsistency in the same category of products donated by different donors. A platform where NGOs can directly show what they need and donors can simply donate those items is a win-win for both. The idea is to make the need to meet the deed. Keeping the COVID situation in mind and the ease for both stakeholders at the same time, the inspiration to leverage Amazon as an eCommerce and delivery platform kicked in. (Donazon.jpg)
What it does
Our WebApp Donazon provides a platform for NGOs to start campaigns listing the Amazon products they are in the need of and match these with donors who want to donate.
Features for NGOs: 1. Create a new campaign when they are in need of the supplies. 2. Search for Amazon products with keywords to add to their campaign along with the quantity of each product they need 3. Create an Amazon Cart of the products donors have donated for the campaign. 4.Place the order for a campaign whenever they want using the money donated . 5.Mark the order as placed and update Amazon order id and upload receipt. 6.Mark the order as delivered.
Features for Donors: 1. Visit the portal and see different campaigns created by the NGOs. 2. For the campaign they want to donate for, select the products which are listed for the campaign by the NGO and update the quantities they want to donate. 3.Pay for the products using Amazon Pay. 4.Get updates when the order for the donated products is placed and delivered along with the receipt.
How we built it
1. Product listing - A rapid Api called Amazon-data which lists products for keywords used. 2. Adding to Cart - Add to Cart API from Amazon Product advertising API 5.0 used. 3.Donor Payment - Amazon pay used to transfer money from donor to the NGO 4.Technology - We built the app through an iterative design process involving the testing and tweaking of various components. We used Django Python for backend API calls and Angular JS for frontend. 5.Data & Database - Used MySQL as most of the data was relational. We used Amazon RDS for hosting the database. The Amazon S3 was used to store the required images. 6. Hosting - Amazon EC2 BeanStalk used too host the front end and the back end.
Challenges we ran into
Using Amazon APIs for new for all of us. Learning about these APIs and using them was a challenge as well as fun for us. We were supposed to use Amazon product listing API but there were some restrictions on it , we came with a work around on using the rapid api for amazon in a limited time. Designing a flow which is very easy to use by both the NGO and the donor, and makes sure there is some kind validation for each user action was a bit challenging but this is what made our idea unique and seamless.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Compassion and Kindness is the current need of the hour given the global situation. This is a time when a lot of the NGOs are facing issues related to transparency and physical exposure involved if the donor wants to actually come and donate items. We are proud of the fact that we were able to deliver a system which is contactless and at the same time ensures transparency and gives the reports directly to the donor. We didn’t lose hopes even when a few things didn’t fall in place and came back with a stronger model for Donazon.
What we learned
We learnt to work remotely and communicate as a team being in different time zones. We learnt about how to develop an application in an iterative way and work collaboratively towards achieving our goal.
What's next for Donazon
- Integrate completely with Amazon Product Listing API and leverage it’s structural product listing features
- Develop a donation wallet where users can save some money as when they like which they can later use for donation.
- Integrate Alex skill for our donors to take to the campaigns they would like to donate to.
- Create a recommendation system once enough data is collected to provide suggested campaigns to the donors.
- Develop a rating system where donors will rate NGOs for the kind impact and transparency they are providing.
- Lastly, integrate with Amazon to give recommendations to donors to donate similar products to the NGOs as they are buying from Amazon for their personal use.