Charity organizations play a pivotal role around the world by championing causes that uplift the lives of the underprivileged in society. To do this, many of them are compelled to invest copious amounts of funds toward the development and upkeep of a framework that facilitates the transfer of donations from donor to project. In Qatar, Applab has introduced a novel solution to this problem that allows charity organizations to continue their operations without the added burden of these technicalities.
Social Charity is Applab’s flagship charity-focused technology that hosts organizations working in this area in one backend system that powers the activities on the platforms unique to each one of them. This simply means that any association subscribed to Social Charity is enabled and empowered by Applab to design and curate its own frontend experience without worrying about the challenges of developing or maintaining the system that makes this possible. We have observed three advantages of this solution.
“Our contribution in this area is a testament to Applab’s efforts to be more socially responsible and aware of the technical challenges faced by organizations in the charity sector. It is our hope that our technology can enhance the management of donation portals as much as improve the experience of donating for users” – AlHasan AlSammarraie, Managing Director of Applab
A cost-efficient model
As already mentioned, the costs associated with building the right technology for collecting, processing, and facilitating donations are enormous. On average, an organization can spend anywhere between 200 to 500 thousand US Dollars in creating an online system for its charity-related operations only in the project phase. These costs are funneled into a variety of tasks and functions, from ideation and development to testing and maintenance, with some requiring frequent overseeing to ensure that they are running smoothly without glitches or interruptions. Additionally, the digitalization of charity organizations and NGOs is a journey in which spending for Maintenance, Modifications, Hosting, and Support Requirements continues to elevate.
A subscription to Social Charity cuts through that tedious and demanding process by transferring the cost and the continuation of development and maintenance to Applab. Current organizations subscribed to this service include Qatar Cancer Society (QCS), Education Above All (EAA), and Silatech. Each of these enjoys the benefits of a personalized Donation Web Platform, whether on their website or mobile applications, adorned by their own personal touch and organizational branding. The fact that registration with Social Charity occurs on an annual basis has made for an even more cost-efficient experience given that the process of tending to this system is already covered by a one-time subscription for the whole year.
A highly integrated solution
In addition to providing an affordable Software as a Service System, Social Charity further integrates that system with multiple features that allow for a more flexible application of the service. Most payment gateways, for instance, are already integrated into Social Charity, most notably Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) and CyberSource, a Visa payment gateway. Other existing functionalities include SMS donations and mobile credit payments, for both Ooredoo as well as Vodafone, which automatically processes transactions whether for prepaid or postpaid accounts.
Social Charity also helps organizations customize their own payment functionalities, such as the recurring feature, which allows donors to schedule recurring payments according to the time pattern they choose. These are enabled and activated upon request and are usually ready to go live within a matter of weeks. Currently enabled for QCS, EAA, and Silatech is the collection points feature, which digitalizes the experience of donating at public charity booths. This method transfers the process of donating to a virtual domain that offers users an online account, collects their donations online, and channels it directly to the project they are supporting.
A personalized approach
In our world, technical solutions are always half of the problem. Applab recognizes this by offering both charity organizations as well as doners the interface they need to feel in control of their activities. For organizations, this means setting up a feedback mechanism for raising issues, sharing concerns, and suggesting areas for further improvements. Since Social Charity is a shared network between the entities that use it, a development in one area is a benefit to all. This also applies to updates on hosting, performance, or any other aspect of the system, which is felt across the board as each entity receives its share of the new offerings provided by the update.