The Minify app is built to assist the Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County, in increasing the number of donations made and to help rebuild a home efficiently and at a speedy rate. It also assists them in tracking and analyzing the donations information, by providing insights as to how many donations are successful each day versus the previous day, month. The trends and forecasts about the donation counts can give the Habitat for Humanity an overall perspective of how they should operate and plan their activities.

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Inspiration

Most people do not want to give away their things easily. What if there is a platform where a person is able to exchange items that are not-so-valuable to him, with an item he likes that belongs to another user? For eg: if a person is moving out and doesn't require his bed, so he decides to exchange it with something more useful for him, through this platform. Also, there is an option for the user to donate that item and earn rewards. In this way, a person is encouraged to live a minimalistic life.

What it does

User Perspective : The platform helps the users post about the items/products that they no longer need. After this, a user can either donate that item or use the barter/exchange those items with some other user.

  • If a user wishes to donate those items, he will have a chance to notify Habitat for Humanity about when he would want to donate. On donation, the user will receive an E-recepit and he will receive bonus points according to the amount of donations.
  • If a user wishes to exchange some of his items with another user on the platform, he can send a request to exchange to that user. On getting confirmation from both parties, the item exchange will be successful.

Admin Perspective :

  • Admin will be able to track the number of donations each day with help of year-wise summary.
  • The demand for certain kind of products vs the actual donations in that category will also be tracked.
  • Admin will also be able to send disclaimers regarding demand of certain kind of products, which will help in getting speedy donations.
  • Insights regarding the trends of donation counts is also maintained.

Business Model

  • Target customers would be anyone who wants to live a minimal life and wants to get rid of the excess things he owns. People who want to switch to sustainable or eco-friendly alternatives should be targeted.
  • The app will be freely available to everyone. However, premium membership can be bought by customers, so that their products would be featured at the top of the page and those items would be potentially sold faster.
  • Granting rewards to customers who constantly engage with the app, can help increase the rate of donations.
  • Data related to type of donations and their timelines would be captured, to further improve the user experience in terms of recommendations and provides insights about the donation strategy.
  • To make users aware of the problem that exists and how we approach it, techniques like social media and email .marketing can be used. We can also use marketing with partner, exclusive offers, gamification strategies. Lastly, collecting user feedback, referral system and providing live demos is also useful.

How I built it

In order to build the web application, I used the following technologies:

  • ReactJs: To build the front end of the app, where users and the admin can login and use various functionalities.
  • Flask : To build the backend server, for integrating the front-end with the database.
  • MongoDB Atlas: To store user data, product item information and data of the day-wise / weekly donations.
  • Python : Analysis the donations data, to generate useful KPI's

Challenges I ran into

The datasets provided were in different formats. It was important to get it in a standard normalized format, to build insights on top of it.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I was able to analyse the data to forecast the number of donations in the subsequent months. This would help Habitat for Humanity, to allot staff/man-power and plan ahead of time, as the app would clearly show the expected numbers of donations that would happen.

What's next for Minify

The functionalities I wish to inclulcate:

  • Plot the users who wish to donate on a map, and schedule a time when a pickup truck will collect all goods from the same place.
  • Integrate a persons shopping list and track the items that he buys and notify the user if he buys a similar product in a short period.
  • Enable a rewarding system which will provide redeemable coupons to the user.
  • Capture features of donations like type of item donated, weight, estimated price, age, state of the item(used/ brand new) etc. which will be valuable in granting appropriate bonus points to the user.
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