20 Million People, 12 Days, 8 Organizations, and 1 George Clooney

In June of this year, our organization was tasked with building a donor platform for a group of nonprofits, GERC (the Global Emergency Response Coalition). The goal was to raise funds to combat the unfolding and severe issue of famine in the horn of Africa.

This session aims to walk through the build process our software team used to quickly stand up a custom application to accomplish this. I’ll describe how we used development, design, and UX to help raise over $5 million dollars in under two weeks for the campaign. I’ll discuss handoffs and conversations between developers & designers, focusing on bridging the gap between the disciplines. Additionally, I’ll provide clarity about how we used our tool belt: Atom, GitHub, HTML5/CSS3 (including Sass)/JS, Ruby on Rails, Amazon S3 (as well as Cloudfront and Route 53), Heroku, and Photoshop to accomplish the goal.

Some key challenges: 

  • Communicating with a lot of cooks in the kitchen
  • Server scaling, load balancing, and caching assets
  • Speedily setting up a framework and a gateway for payments
  • A/B testing for multiple marketing channels
  • Mobile friendliness

Some key solutions:

  • Designating point people for certain tasks
  • How specialization and unique skill sets helped keep everyone sane
  • Experience with our platform framework and a great relationship with our gateway provider
  • Duplicating campaigns on the fly
  • A focus on mobile testing

Web app:


Development View Full Agenda
Date: March 1, 2018 Time: 9:15 am - 10:00 am photo of Dave Hightower

Dave Hightower

Global Impact