Why a Donor Portal?
Recently I've been helping a small charity set up the ability to take online donations. After initial discussions about what they would need to consider and what technical problems we had to solve, we started on the research path to find out what hosting environments were needed and who could already provide this.
But as a programmer, something was already tickling the back of my brain. Most, if not all, of the services required would have to be paid for and, to be honest, it all seemed too hard.
(Note: I have a blog post brewing with all of the things we encountered, so I'll link to that from here soon.)
There is a big list of roadblocks we hit along the way, but the main thing came down to this:
Being able to use your own domain with HTTPS (TLS/SSL) is going to cost money.
As a programmer who knows how to get free/cheap hosting, free SSL certificates (thanks to LetsEncrypt) I just thought to myself that a small charity shouldn't have to pay someone to do all of this for them. I think they can pay someone if they want to, but to me, there didn't seem like there was a simple and free option out there they could use.
In the end, I just started programming The Donatinator on the hope that the charity would use it and I could open source it for anyone else to use too! Unfortunately the charity found a solution called 'DonorBox' which I looked at and told them that it looked perfect for their use case. They decided to use that instead.
I was obviously sad about this ...
... however, there is still a gap in the market ...
... and that made me more determined to carry on and make something out of this great start!
So I continued to develop The Donatinator and now it is more than capable of doing most of what you need.
-- Andrew Chilton (2017-08-29)