How Mightycause helps fundraisers attract more donations with visually captivating stories

Today, fundraising software is a highly competitive environment. To beat the competition, Mightycause aimed to provide unique tools for nonprofits and fundraisers along with an easy-to-use interface, all while keeping it cheaper than a PayPal button.

Mightycause is an all-in-one fundraising platform for nonprofit fundraising, donor management, marketing, peer-to-peer fundraising, and more.

Founded in 2006, the company wanted to show that there was a better way to do fundraising online, and provide organizations with the right technologies to implement it. Now, the platform has 150,000 active users who use the platform for:

  • online fundraising
  • donor management
  • peer-to-peer, team and event fundraising
  • 24 hour Giving Days & large scale giving events
  • personal crowdfunding
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Our team wanted to allow people to experience the joy of giving by making it easier for people to give and solve inefficiencies for nonprofit organizations.
Walkathon interface

People often make decisions about whether to donate to a fundraiser based on its story; however, the story itself doesn’t matter as much as how well you tell it.

To attract donors and go viral, the story should not only be relatable, inspiring, and moving; it should be easy to read and well-illustrated with emotionally captivating visuals. The ability for nonprofit fundraisers to easily upload images, embed videos and even live-streaming video content directly onto their fundraising pages is a critical part of that storytelling.

The main KPI of the Mightycause team is tied to the success of the nonprofits raising funds on the platform, so Mightycause aimed to create a modern and elegant platform and give users the ability to upload numerous high-quality images to present their stories.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Donation pages that had compelling images and videos definitely raised substantially more than those that didn’t. We know that people who land on a page with good images and content are more likely to click through and give.

The Mightycause team decided early on to focus their internal resources on the core nonprofit and donation features. Because of this focus, they sought out the right third party partners to supplement their core technology.

First, the team integrated the Paper Clip plugin to manage images on the platform. But this plugin had two major shortcomings:

It couldn’t scale the image sizes dynamically. Before uploading images to the platform, the plugin had to crop the images to pre-specified sizes. Also, to make images adaptive for mobile devices, they needed to upload several versions of the same image in different resolutions. That was a problem because any updates to the website which introduced changes in the image size and ratio meant they had to change the ratios for every image manually, which was taking up too much time.

There was no cropping tool available. If the user needed to remove part of an uploaded image, they needed to look for third-party cropping software. This was confusing for non-technical users, and they often had to contact the support team for help.

The team decided to deactivate the plugin and start looking for a better option that would meet all their requirements.

Their understanding of the fundraising market along with their experience with the previous image processing solution helped the team gain a clear vision of what they needed:

Since one of the competitive advantages of Mightycause is its user-friendly interface, the team wanted to find a nice-looking uploading widget that would perfectly fit their website design.

Uploading banner and logo images is a mandatory part of setting up a profile on Mightycause. The platform has certain requirements for these images: for example, the logo should have a 1x1 ratio. The team needed an uploader with a built-in cropping tool and the ability to preview images before uploading, and the cropping tool needed to be intuitive and easy to use for non-technical users.

After their bad experience with the Paper Clip plugin, the team was looking for a solution that would dynamically resize, crop, and manage images, while handling all the file storage and image processing. Also, if a fundraiser needed to update their campaign page with new imagery they wanted to have a chance to do it in a few clicks.

A donation page can experience huge traffic spikes during large fundraising events with thousands of concurrent users. The team paid particular attention to the reliability, resiliency, and uptime of the third-party services they used, so their website could handle any load.

Since small and medium-sized nonprofits don’t have the budget to use costly tools, Mightycause aims to make their technologies accessible to everyone. Also, a lower price would help them gain a competitive advantage. That’s why when choosing an uploading tool, the cost was one of the most important factors.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
For our nonprofit customers, we understand every dollar counts in carrying out their mission to do good. We've really worked to keep our pricing as low as possible and help nonprofits cover the costs of using our platform. Traditionally, more than 94% of our users end up covering those fees.

Uploadcare File Uploader’s interface is straightforward and easy to use, and the tool has all the needed functionality to automate image handling. Uploadcare met all their requirements, so Mightycause ran with the solution.

Originally, Mightycause was built as a purely Ruby on Rails application. As technology changed and the feature set of the platform grew, it became clear new solutions were required. As a result, the team switched to a service-oriented architecture and wrote their front end on Angular. This means that the platform now consists of independent modules, and each module handles a specific task.

As modules, they use various services from AWS, including AWS Auto Scaling, MySQL and Elasticsearch, and Redis. For real-time leaderboards and metrics, the team uses Google Firebase.

Uploadcare also works as one of those modules, and covers image uploading and processing. If a user wants to add a video, the team usually asks users to provide the YouTube or Vimeo link, but some videos still go through Uploadcare. Also, the team partially uses Uploadcare for document management, for example, allowing clients to put up PDFs or toolkit files. As storage for all the uploaded files, Mightycause uses Amazon S3

Resume reviewers at Polished

The uploader allows Mightycause users to fill their fundraising pages with multiple high-quality images. This, according to their internal statistics, helps organizations raise substantially more money.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause

Uploadcare helped create much better-looking pages which ultimately drive donations and support the mission of the organizations using our platform.

Resume reviewers at Polished

Uploadcare File Uploader’s interface is intuitive and easy to use, which contributes to the user-friendly design of Mightycause.

When setting up their profiles on Mightycause, users can easily upload their logos, background images, and other visuals using drag-and-drop or one of the 10 available upload sources. With the built-in editor, they can crop their images to fit the platform’s requirements, preview, and publish them to the platform.

During personal demonstrations to prospective clients, the modern and easy-to-use interface is often the deciding factor.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Integrating Uploadcare has helped us to build that modern platform and give nonprofits the ability to upload images. One of the biggest pieces of feedback that we get from organizations that are coming to us is how easy it is to use and how well-designed it is.

Since the market is highly competitive, Mightycause strives to constantly build new features that make fundraising easier. The team does continuous deployment and delivery: they deploy small features and improvements almost every day, and at least one large feature a month.

Outsourcing a significant part of their work to Uploadcare allowed Mightycause to put their energy into building new product features and growing fast with a relatively small team.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Very little maintenance allowed our engineering team to focus on building things that are core to our business.
Up to 155,000 users on the site, and 1.3 million page views in one day.

During fundraising campaigns and large scale Giving Events, the organization’s using the platform strive to engage as many people as possible to raise more money for the organization. This spike in activity means that each module of the platform has to be robust and resilient to any load.

All the files that go through the Uploadcare widget are saved on a reliable image CDN with 288K node servers. During a fundraising event, a CDN can easily handle the heavy traffic by distributing the load between servers, so even huge traffic spikes won’t put the platform out of circulation.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
During the events, we’re actively promoting and asking everybody to come to the site simultaneously, basically doing the one thing that makes developers and CTOs lose sleep at night. It creates this perfect storm of spiking activity. That was a big plus for us, having the CDN that Uploadcare utilizes, and we've never had any issue with that.

The Uploadcare media pipeline allowed Mightycause to automate their image-handling workflows and offload those tasks from their development team. Their users, in turn, got the ability to present their stories with high-quality images using an intuitive and friendly file uploader. That resulted in:

Money saved on maintenance: ~ $5,000/month

Using a ready-made image processing solution significantly reduces maintenance costs for Mightycause. The team no longer spends time tweaking images manually, as they had to with the previous tool. They believe that handling all these processes without Uploadcare would cost them about $5,000 a month.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
The opportunity costs that we would have maintaining such infrastructure in-house are huge. Uploadcare can do images better than we can. Why do we need to reinvent the wheel?

The previous image processing solution wasn’t user-friendly to non-technical users. For example, users were experiencing problems with cropping their logos and had to contact customer support. At that time, 10-15% of Mightycause’s customer support tickets were related to image uploading and editing. Integrating the user-friendly Uploadcare File Uploader helped Mightycause reduce this number to less than 5%.

Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
Bryce Melvin, VP of Product & Business Operations at Mightycause
During my tenure, I’ve observed our customer service team before and after using Uploadcare. Uploadcare has decreased our customer service issues by providing more robust, self-service image tools to our users.

Uploadcare is an end-to-end cloud platform that covers the complete media pipeline and provides a next-gen infrastructure for file handling. It can cover any part of the media pipeline or all of them at once:

  • One of the world’s fastest File Uploaders
  • Automated secure Smart Storage
  • AI-driven Image Transformations Engine
  • Proprietary designed Visual Intelligence Algorithms
  • Adaptive Delivery solution