Meet Donor Rally, A Drupal Distro for Social Fundraising

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 13:24

Today OpenSourcery announces the release of Donor Rally, an open source Drupal distribution that nonprofit organizations can use to raise money on the web. This is a developer release, and Drupal geeks can begin the tire-kicking process by downloading the project's source code on GitHub now.

This project has allowed OpenSourcery another chance to follow through on one of our central goals as a company: to share open source software developed for one nonprofit organization with the rest of the nonprofit community. Today, on the day of Donor Rally's birth as a public open source project, I'd like to take a moment a moment to relate the story about how it came to be.

In early 2009 we were contacted by the San Francisco Food Bank to discuss the possibility of attempting something truly radical: using Drupal to move a mission-critical fundraising campaign completely to the web.

The Food From the Bar campaign website was launched in February of 2010. It allowed the San Francisco Food Bank to utilize their social networks, both physical and virtual, to spread the word about their mission. And by June of this year, it had collected over $300,000.00 in web-based donations.

OpenSourcery licenses all of our client projects under the terms of the GPL, and it wasn't long before we started contemplating how this software could be used to benefit other organizations. Then a personal connection at one of our favorite organizations, 826 Seattle, gave us our first chance to spread the Donor Rally love. (Huge thanks to Sarah B., who was instrumental in this leg of the project.) 826 Seattle is a division of a parent organization co-founded by Dave Eggers to give underprivileged youths access to creative writing programs of the sort that had been previously reserved for only the most privileged private academies.

826 Seattle was planning an ambitious, grassroots fundraising campaign called Dance Your Cash Off that invited participants to raise money for the organization on the condition that they would enter a dance marathon hosted by 826. This proved to be a perfect opportunity to re-tool the codebase originally developed for the San Francisco Food Bank to help 826 Seattle bring their efforts to the social web. Because we developed the original codebase using Features, abstracting out functionality unique to the food bank (such as food donation) was a nearly trivial task. After less than 20 hours of labor, we launched DanceYourCashOff.org.

Staff members and fans of 826 Seattle were then able to use the website to raise $17,000, more than 70% of their original fundraising goal. And thanks to Drupal's administration capabilities, they spent only a few hours of staff time to co-ordinate the entire campaign.

Since then, employees of OpenSourcery have spent every Thursday afternoon sitting around a table out in the sun over a company-subsidized pitcher (or 2) of beer, working together to improve the Donor Rally codebase. Which brings us to today's developer release. Donor Rally has now been packaged into a free, general-purpose application to help any nonprofit organize a social fundraising campaign of their own. The theme is a subtheme of Zen, and hasn't yet been given a polish coat. But this should be a good starting place for a developer to use to help out his or her favorite nonprofit. To learn more, visit the Donor Rally project page.

Comments

I took a run through it this

I took a run through it this morning. Good work guys. I think there is a lot of potential with it. A few points to consider:

1. I found the system hard to Navigate. More end user instructions or hints should be provided by default. I know drupal; end-users don't. They need to be hand held on where to start.

2. The donor thermometer looks messed up on the homepage when there are no donations.

3. The donate button does not work on the team pages

4. The block save button does not work on team page

5. Is the points system arbitrary and configurable on a per team basis? (If so, shouldn't this be set on a site-wide basis so the rankings are not skewed

I would love to help continue to test and see this mature. Our company works with mostly Charities and this would be a great tool for them to use. Keep up the great work, guys!

Hello Ryan. At the moment

Hello Ryan.

At the moment we're not able to host the project at D.O. because it depends on a patch that has not yet been accepted into a contrib module we're using. Although we can patch Drupal with a drush make file, D.O.'s Drush Make instance forbids automated patching.

It's our goal to host it on D.O. as soon as it becomes technically feasible for us to do so. Thanks for the podcast shout-out, you've got a few fans at OpenSourcery as well:)

Nothing but a white screen

I've installed Drupal at least a hundred times but is the first time that I failed...When I run the install script after choosing the Donors Rally install profile it takes me to a white screen...

I've tried everythinh but I can't find the problem...

Greets, Harold

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Marcus Estes
OpenSourcery Alum