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Smile Train

Empowering Millions of Dollars in Donations for a Worthy Cause

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Smile Train is an international children’s charity focused on cleft. The organization’s vision is a world where everyone has access to safe, high-quality comprehensive cleft care and is able to live a full and healthy life.

Because Smile Train receives a significant amount of their donations via an online form we teamed up to create a fast and reliable donation form that can be easily customized to meet evolving business needs.

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The Challenge:

For years Smile Train had been receiving a significant percentage of their donations through an online form run by an outdated, licensed software that was difficult to maintain.

Because this donation form is vastly important to Smile Train’s operations, our challenge was to develop a robust, custom solution that could fully integrate with Smile Trains operations while also providing the Smile Train team with the ability to easily add new features over time.

The Solution:

We implemented a new UI for the Smile Train donation form that was driven through user feedback and metrics from the previous iteration of the form.

This platform, powered by a content management system (GraphCMS), allows the Smile Train team to quickly and easily customize their donation forms through the configuration of urls and campaigns, allowing for easy transitions between marketing campaigns and channels. We additionally made improvements to CMS flexibility that allowed us to optimize for google page rank and SEO.

We also implemented backend system changes that ensured our system would work with third party systems like google tag manager, Active Campaign and Salesforce.

The donation form application is fully integrated with Smile Train’s Salesforce CRM, which serves as the company’s data hub. Once a donation is made via the form, donor and donation information are saved to the CRM and subsequently utilized for marketing strategy.

For security and PCI compliance we chose to use external payment solutions for donation processing. Credit card and paypal donations via the online form are processed through Braintree while bank transactions are processed through Stripe and Plaid.

Additionally the platform maintains a transaction audit log via Prisma and PostgreSQL, providing the Smile Train team with documentation of all donation transactions, which can then be compared against the transaction information provided by Salesforce.

We improved system stability by migrating the codebase to Typescript, a programming language that allows for complete data safety and robust error checking. This transition helped reduce overall bugs in the system, resulting in far fewer errors and a faster means to solve any errors that occured.

The Outcome

The Smile Train donation form and application recently launched with great success. As Smile Train's main donation form, it is currently receiving over 15,000 visitors a day, along with a significant number of donations helping to fund cleft surgery and essential cleft care to children in need around the world.