APIs remind me of legos. It's like taking pieces from different kits and putting them together to make something unique. They offer an opportunity to integrate services and content from one source into another. APIs that we have used more recently include those from Twitter, Facebook, Postmark, Twilio, PayPal, Braintree, and our own Giving Impact™.
When we started to develop our Giving Impact fundraising platform the inclusion of an API was essential to offer the design and developer friendliness we wanted in fundraising technology. Our fundraising API offers campaign related data as well as links to various hosted features. This approach allows us to create unique and integrated landing pages for campaigns using data such as the current total, target, and campaign description that match our design vision along with fully white-labeled features such as donation checkout and sharing.
Our latest evolution of the fundraising API was recently released as beta and is being used by the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV). To support their upcoming, second annual Arts For Autism campaign, they wanted to make a number of improvements to their technology as well as presentation. This campaign is an event where in addition to general donations and ticket purchases there are 50+ champion fundraisers that are each trying to raise $2500 in ticket sales/donations.
To support the champion fundraiser concept, we developed the capability to have multiple, unique Giving Opportunities within a campaign. In other words you can have mini-campaigns within a main campaign. This allows for tracking each champion fundraisers efforts uniquely while at the same time aggregating all champion data up to the main campaign. As such it is a first and significant step towards an efficient team-based fundraising structure.
The following is a brief walkthrough of the site focusing on areas that tap into the fundraising API.
The site is implemented on the ExpressionEngine CMS. We developed a custom module for ExpressionEngine to facilitate communication with the fundraising API and to handle some basic data processing. The module offers a series of ExpressionEngine template tags that make integration with Giving Impact data/features with ExpressionEngine's template system extremely easy to employ.
We are extremely excited about our partnership with ASNV and to apply our API and technology to help extend their efforts.