Oxfam Challenge Events: creating personal fundraising pages
Oxfam work directly with communities and local partners to support people to make their way out of poverty and exercise their social, economic, political and civil rights. Oxfam Ireland is one of 17 Oxfams working together in 92 countries and has 51 shops across Ireland, north and south, with over 1,000 volunteers delivering real change to the lives of people affected by poverty.
We provide Oxfam Ireland with on-going Drupal consultancy and development services to their Oxfam Ireland website, maintaining the site, adding new features, and integrating with their CRM system – challenges Oxfam say we “meet without fail”.
Oxfam Ireland run various fundraising events throughout the year, notably their 'Trailtrekker' event, featuring teams performing 50km walks through the Mourne mountains. They came to Annertech looking to further consolidate their online presence, streamline their work processes and expand their capabilities around Trailtrekker and other such fundraising endeavours.
The project contained two related parts: challenge events, e.g. Trailtrekker; and a personal sponsorship system, whereby a user can set up their own branded fundraising page and run their own event as they see fit. Each strand of the project involved interactions between staff generated content and user generated content, as well as the ability for users to make financial contributions to Oxfam through a donation to a given fundraiser.
We created an 'event' content type, which would hold all the metadata about an event, e.g. fundraising targets, cost to participate, banner images, number of people per team, etc. Through the use of multivalue field collections, an admin can create variants on an event, e.g. a 25km trek and a 50km trek, each with its own entirely discrete metadata.
Each event required a registration form. Some complex custom code allowed a single form to be used for all the challenge event workflow variations, e.g. individual or team events, ticketed or free events, new or returning user. This presented the user with a simple registration form which hid any unnecessary information, pre-populated any information available, e.g. event variant, price etc and made the registration process quick and easy.
Once a user chooses an event and registers, a number of things happen. First, their user account is silently created in the background and populated with all their entered personal information. Second, their own fundraising page is created and linked to the parent event. Lastly, the new user account is linked to his/her team (fundraising) page, and the creation process is complete. All this happens behind the scenes through use of an API.
The user is next brought to a screen that encourages them to invite their friends to join their team. The system will send a preconfigured email to the email addresses entered in the form. Invitees who receive the emails will be given a link directly to the registration form, ready for the process to begin again.
As a final step, the user is presented with the ability to customize their page, including the ability to upload their own custom image or select one of the pre-configured images stored on the event via a custom image selection widget.
A user's team fundraising page allows donations to any individual team member or the team as a whole. A custom block showing a team barometer keeps track of the total raised and individual counters show the relative success of each team member's efforts. Donations are displayed towards the bottom of the page. Lastly, and importantly, each team page has full social media integration with Twitter and Facebook share buttons and the ability to share the page by email.
Streamlining and enhancing the end user's experience was only half the job because Oxfam needed to manage the process from their own office as well. Fortunately, building upon their experience at running events like Trailtrekker during previous years, they were able to work with us to properly define their administration requirements. Rich reporting gives the office a running tally of all registrations and payments, teams and team data. Solid CRM integration pushes the data through to their CRM for full 360 degree visibility of their supporters. We even created the ability for admins to re-allocate donations in the case of error and re-allocate users to different teams where necessary.
Lastly, Oxfam needed a way to discount certain events at certain times and for certain supporters. Having been familiar with such shopping cart systems as Ubercart or Drupal Commerce, they imagined a coupon system. Such as system did not exist for our setup so we created one to suit. A 'coupon' content type was created to hold the data for a discount coupon. This allows an admin access to a UI for editing, viewing and reporting upon coupons. At point of creation an admin can elect to have a single blanket coupon with a set number of uses, or to generate a specified number of single-use randomly generated codes. A custom database table handles the storage of all such coupon data.
A sponsorship feature for single users to create sponsorship pages was also created. The personal sponsorship system builds upon a lot of the structure provided by the challenge events. The main differences are that each fundraising page is run by a single person, as opposed to a team and there is never an entry fee to create a page. Similar to challenge events, you have an interaction between user generated content (the fundraising page), the user account and administrator generated content. In this case, Oxfam admins set up categories of sponsorship event, e.g. bike ride, coffee morning, marathon, etc.
Oxfam have found the system to be a great boon. It has significantly reduced the administrative burden from running these events, which is a valuable thing for an organisation whose office efficiencies translate directly into improved standards of living in the poorest parts of the world.
We worked with Annertech for a complete redesign and rebuild of our website on the Drupal platform. Delivery of the project was required within a very demanding timeframe, which Annertech met without fail. The website was developed in a way that was fully responsive and mobile friendly which won it lots of attention in various blogs and among other non profit organisations, both in Ireland and internationally. One of the outstanding things about working with Annertech is the breadth of their technical knowledge, their proactive approach, their commitment and availability and above all, the quality of their final product. They are innovative in their working methodologies and a pleasure to work with. As a result, Oxfam Ireland has continued to work with Annertech as our preferred web partners.