Creating a Donation Form through SKY API into Raiser’s Edge NXT – Part 1 (Overview)

This post is in response to a thread on the Raiser’s Edge User Group Support Forum on Facebook. If you are not already a member then I can highly recommend it. There are some very talented individuals there who have been using Raiser’s Edge for a long time and have a wealth of experience!

The question asked was whether anybody had created a donation form on a website which would capture information and send it through to RE NXT.

There are a number of different possibilities here. You could create a complex web application that captures donations like ones that are already commercially available e.g. Classy, Crowdrise, OneCause, FunRaise, 4AGoodCause, WeDidIt, MobileCause, FundRazr, etc to name a few to name the ones that Importacular currently integrates with. From an end user perspective these have a lot of functionality that makes donating an easier experience.

Another way of getting data in is to use a forms application such as Formstack or JotForm. These have integrations with payment processors and also with Importacular so that you are able to bring data back into RE that way. They also give you a lot of scope for designing the form exactly how you want to.

For the ultimate in flexibility you may want to do the whole integration yourself!  This series of three articles will look a very basic donation capture example. The UI of the dedicated fundraising platforms and of the forms applications are something that we would aspire to but in reality our first draft is not going to be anything so fancy.

We are going to need some server space to host our web page and also to host the back-end processing of the donation. We use Amazon Web Services but there are plenty of alternatives including Microsoft’s Azure or even your own servers.

We are going to create a simple HTML file to capture the data. If you want to make it look nicer then please do so. I am just working with the mechanics here.

We will also need a server architecture to handle the incoming data and send it off to the SKY API.

Finally you will want a mechanism to actually take payment. We use Stripe for this but there are plenty of alternatives.

In the next part we will get started with the web form to capture our donor’s information and their card details