Houston has a huge economic divide. Lots of non-profits struggle with resources, while donors do not have a platform to connect with the needed non-profits. We want to create an in-kind donation platform to match needs with donors.
What it does
Pre-approved local non-profits have access to free items, either from submitted in-kind donations or Craig’s List. The non-profits can search for items by zip code to arrange pick-up trips. Community donors can safely submit donation information with little concern for privacy, as the list will only be accessed by the pre-approved local non-profits.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Front end – time constraints to create a quality website
Back end – scrapping Craig’s List to avoid IP Banning and combining the donated list with Craig’s List
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In a team of 10, we worked really well by spilt up into three work stream – front end, back end, and strategy/design. We have successfully developed a minimum viable product (mvp) that is fully tested. The platform has the potential to connect hundreds of thousands of Houston donors with non-profits in need.
What we learned
Because we have a mix of backgrounds (non-developers and developers), all of us learned how to collaborate to take a product from idea to minimum viable product. The developers gained new skills, such as building a web scraper, connecting backend, and git.
What's next for Houston Helps
- Build on existing base website and could include more advanced features – Tax deductible forms to donors – Interactive map of donations
- Reach out to local non-profits that want to receive in-kind donations
- Marketing campaign to raise awareness of the website to drive donations