In recent years there has been greater distrust with how charity donations are handled. A few of the concerns have stemmed from the intent behind un-honest big corporate pushes and the total percent overhead usage of charities. We believe that making donations to charities should be transparent and should be at the power and control of the user. This is why we have created GoCharity. GoCharity is both clear and efficient by tying the way you spend with the way you donate.
For building this hack we decided on going all out with a front end and back end. Because of the time constraint, we decided to divide into two teams where two of us worked on the back end and the other two worked on the front end. The front end was made using React.js & CSS while the back end is a mix of Flask, google cloud, & MySQL. We decided to go with hosting on Google Cloud as it provides reliable data storage, and strong security as we can decide which IP addresses we allow to connect to the database. To get the transaction data we used the Plaid API which we then connected to our database to check for transactions.
For our project, we wanted to code something that could restore the roots into donations. We wanted to make donations simple, as they should be. Thus we decided on GoCharity. The app works much like acorns works. When a user signs up their bank account is connected to their account using the Plaid API. For every transaction connected to the user account, the amount spent will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. This money will be collected under the user’s account and can be donated to the charity of their choice. There are options to add favorite charities along with a list of charities to choose from. The list of charities available has gone through vetting to ensure that the percent of donations spent on programs relative to overhead is above 70%. We understand the power behind donations but acknowledge that it should not be as difficult as it has become and we hope that our project can build a pathway to simplicity and transparency.