Raising $40,000 would be a challenge to most, but raising $40,000 in 40 days seems almost impossible. Josh Bartolomucci from MinistryPixel.com was faced with this exact situation. Using the flexible power of FoxyCart he developed a website for one of his clients where supporters could give online and offline donations in a quick and secure way. Not only did they reach their goal in 40 days, they exceeded it!
Hello! Who are you? What’s your company? How’d you get started in web development?
Hello! My name is Josh Bartolomucci. My wife and I own a small web agency in Oklahoma called MinistryPixel.com. I started building websites when I was about 13 years old and have grown to love it more and more ever since.
A few years ago, it got to a point where I was working a full-time job during the day and working a full-time job at night building websites. We soon realized something had to change. So we decided to take the plunge into starting a full-time business. We mainly focus on helping churches and ministries, but we have previously and continue to help businesses as well.
Could you describe this project? What was the goal? What was the vision?
Oh definitely! This project was a blast! Our good friend Dustin Smith approached me about a new music project he was working on. After hearing about the project, I knew right off the bat it was going to be a worldwide success. I also knew that for this project to succeed, every part of it had to be handled with special care, the right people and the right tools.
Just to give you a little background information about Dustin, he is an internationally known worship leader from Kansas City. Every Friday night you can watch him live on Daystar Television Network. Each week Dustin’s music is broadcast to millions of people all over the world through television and the internet.
The plan: record and film a live CD/DVD worship album. The problem: it would cost around $40,000. The solution: build a website where people can financially give towards the project while in return be rewarded with different rewards based on the amount they gave. This would give people an opportunity to make this project their own.
What were your roles and responsibilities in this project?
As with most projects I work on, I wear many hats as far as responsibilities go. I started by helping Dustin come up with a strategic game plan for the website and funding of the project. Next I designed, coded, tested and launched the website. After launching the website, I worked one on one with Dustin, offering my assistance where needed and continually brainstorming new funding ideas to make sure the project was a success.
How’d you find FoxyCart, and what need or problem drove you to choose FoxyCart over other options?
I have been using FoxyCart for a few years now. After trying many of the popular and not-so-popular ecommerce solutions, I was left disappointed and still without a solution. And then I found FoxyCart. Since, I have built and launched over 10 websites with Foxycart integration.
For this project, there were some key features and functionality that we needed:
- Easily integrate ecommerce into an already built website
- A way to attach rewards to each donation, based on the donation amount
- Ability to generate and email download links for certain reward levels
- Ability to send each transaction’s information to a MySQL database so we can show how much we have raised, how many people have given total, and how many people have given per reward level
Another key aspect of the project that we had to have was the ability to keep costs down. Most of the online services that offer similar functionality that we were needing take up to 10% of the total amount of money raised. This was not acceptable in our eyes.
Having already experienced the power and flexibility of FoxyCart, I knew it would be a perfect fit for the job.
How was FoxyCart able to meet the need or problem?
Since FoxyCart is made to integrate into already built websites it was fairly easy to integrate the functionality we needed while maintaining the design of the website on ecommerce related pages.
Depending on the amount donated, using FoxyCart’s downloadable product manager, we were able to instantly send an encrypted download link to the customer. We were literally able to set it and forget it.
Being able to collect transaction data, store it in a MySQL database, and display it how we wanted to was a very important component of the website. The goal was to be able to show how much money we have raised, how many people have supported the project, and how many people gave towards each reward level. Since FoxyCart provides a data feed of orders, we were able to feed transaction details to our database automatically every time there was an order. Using PHP, we were then able to do some calculations with that data to show how much money we had raised.
We already had Dustin setup with Authorize.net and we knew what the pricing would be for FoxyCart, so we were able to keep costs down to less than 4% of the total amount raised.
What was your experience with using FoxyCart?
Working with FoxyCart on this project got me even more excited to work on another FoxyCart project. Every time I work with Foxycart, it is a joyful and pleasant experience. Before Foxycart, working with ecommerce was something I dreaded. Now, it’s something I very much look forward to.
What surprised you about working with FoxyCart?
The biggest thing that surprised me in this project with FoxyCart, were the many times when I came to functionality obstacles that I thought would take a while to program, only to find out that the functionality was already built into FoxyCart and only took a short time to setup.
What would you say to other Developers/Designers/Merchants who are looking for an ecommerce solution?
If you are looking for an ecommerce solution that is powerful, yet easy to use, flexible, easy to customize, affordable, and that comes with great customer support, save time and money by going ahead and giving FoxyCart a try. You will not be disappointed.