I love how the Internet removes friction from everyday tasks, especially payment-related ones. And one of the great success stories of recent years, beginning with Hurricane Katrina relief in August 2005, is how easy it is to make charitable gifts online.
Thanks to Fred Wilson, blogging at A VC, I contributed to the Social Media Challenge last week and got a first-hand look at Donors Choose. The simple checkout process has three features that I’d not seen before:
- Amazon Payments as a payment choice (along with PayPal, credit card, or check; first screenshot)
- Automated Facebook wall post integration (second screenshot)
- Automated Twitter posting with two options:
— allow Donors Choose to Tweet a thank-you to you referencing your @twittername
— provides a template for you to make a Tweet from your own Twitter account
If you want to see a state-of-the-art checkout system in action, and support kids in the classroom, check out Donors Choose.
Or if you are looking to add a charitable-giving feature to your banking site for the holidays, you can easily create your own giving page at Donors Choose and run a widget on your website tracking the campaign’s progress (see inset). You can choose which projects to support so long as they fall within the nonprofit’s mission of “helping students in need.”
Donors Choose cart with Amazon Payments and PayPal integration (13 Oct 2009)
Facebook wall post integration
This screen popped up after I checked out
Donors Choose shout-out page on Twitter (link)
Note: First Tweet was Sep 29. Have done 342 since then (through 13 Oct 2009).
1. My first donation via Amazon Payments failed because I accidentally used a canceled credit card number. And evidently there is a bit of a bug in the feedback loop to the Donors Choose site. I got an error message, but when I clicked “next” to re-enter the payment, the site transferred me out to the thank-you page and I was unable to go back and re-do the transaction. I had to start all over again, and now the site shows that I’ve made two donations instead of one.