As the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) recently announced, the first-ever 24-hour fundraising event in the region, Give Ozarks, proved to be a great success. The event raised $1,021,160 in donations for nonprofit organizations in the area. The vast majority of donors made contributions via the Give Ozarks website—a responsively designed, custom crowdfunding application built by the interactive software and website development agency Mostly Serious. The collaboration between CFO and Mostly Serious resulted in excellent participation from the community.
Mostly Serious was thrilled to help raise such a significant sum of money for the Ozarks region, as Founding Partner & Designer Jarad Johnson noted: “As aninteractive design and development shop, our team loves building tools to gracefully handle big challenges, and when you couple that with the opportunity to impact the lives of so many people, we were entirely invested in this project. Watching the Give Ozarks results steadily climb toward the $1 million mark was one of the best moments of my career, and I know the rest of our team agrees.”
Like most wide-reaching nonprofit organizations, CFO has become increasingly interested in the interactive agencies like Mostly Serious provide. Online tools such as crowdfunding sites and social media accounts require relatively moderate investments yet, done correctly, have potential to reach large audiences while giving interested parties the option to conveniently make donations right from their computer or mobile device, as CFO Senior Vice-President of Communications and Marketing Louise Knauer stated: “We have found that if we can make it easy to get involved, many people want to help make a difference for their less fortunate neighbors. Adopting modern technologies clearly lets CFO make participation easy on people, and the return on that investment has proven crucial to our efforts.”
Results from the Give Ozarks Event
A digital marketing group that is extensively experienced in responsive design, Mostly Serious built the Give Ozarks website to perform beautifully on the given user’s preferred device and browser. The website showcases roughly 150 nonprofit agencies—located in more than 45 communities in the Missouri Ozarks. Because Mostly Serious anticipated extremely heavy traffic for the website, they used the latest web technologies to create a completely custom crowdfunding app. In just one 24-hour period, the website handled some 675,000 pageviews from nearly 32,000 unique visitors. In that time, the site facilitated 7,649 donations—just under 3,000 of which were indicated as first-time donations to the given organization.
Mostly Serious Partner & Developer Zack Bonebrake, who established the infrastructure for the website, indicated that Give Ozarks was built to handle all that traffic: “Thanks to CFO’s incredible work rallying the community in advance of the big day, we knew the site must be fully capable of accommodating an onslaught of users all at once. So we ran hundreds of tests leading up to the release and simulated in excess of 20,000,000 requests with 10,000 concurrent users. We basically abused our infrastructure to ensure we would have no problems handling the anticipated traffic volume five times over.”
Technical Information for the Give Ozarks Website
For those interested in the technical matters, Mostly Serious Partner & Developer Maranda Reynolds provided the specifics: “We built Give Ozarks in Node.js with an HTML5 front end and a MongoDB datastore. To eliminate any confusion and let users get right down to business, our designers created a simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy to donate. And to put donors’ minds at ease, we opted to integrate the system with Stripe payment processing due its easy and secure checkout process.” Reynolds also stated that the back-end code is integrated with a content management system that gives each agency complete control over the presentation of its fundraising pitch. That administrative system also features accurate reporting, allowing CFO to divvy out prizes every hour.
Finally, Mostly Serious deployed the Give Ozarks website on the open-source cluster manager Apache Mesos, which enabled the website to handle requests across a cluster of servers. As Reynolds noted, “While the whole system involved necessarily complex integration of development tools, carefully selecting the best possible tools resulted in successful performance for the Give Ozarks website, including elegant failover with zero server down time over those crucial 24 hours. Seeing the system we designed and built allow CFO to raise over $1 million in one day was beyond gratifying for our team.”
For more information on the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, visit cfozarks.org. To learn more about the Give Ozarks event, visit giveozarks.org. To inquire about services from Mostly Serious, contact Jarad Johnson at 417.501.6552 or by email at jarad(at)mostlyserious(dot)io. For updates on the latest interactive marketing breakthroughs, visit mostlyserious.io or follow Mostly Serious on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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