For the past six years, NetSuite has regularly held a Hackathon 4Good, an opportunity for NetSuite employees, partners and customers to put their skills to use for good, helping NetSuite nonprofit customers with needed projects.
Typically held in-person before the annual SuiteWorld conference, this year’s event was conducted virtually, creating some interesting challenges — and some interesting results.
The first virtual Hackathon 4Good ended with the judges in a dead heat on the winning solution, leading to two winning teams, Team ACS Chivito & Team New KeyMark Burns Aces on Tedi's Lens. A total of 137 NetSuite employees from 11 countries submitted 20 solutions to benefit the international development agency, Food for the Hungry Canada. The goal was to come up with creative and completely new ideas for improving the nonprofit’s donor experience within NetSuite.
FH Canada’s mission is to end poverty, one community at a time through integrated development programs. Since 1994, FH Canada has helped 70 communities out of poverty and for much of that time, it has run its financial operation on NetSuite. The organization needed to find a solution to simplify its donation workflow, in order to create a greeting card experience for donors that would be documented in NetSuite.
FH Canada’s operations and development teams were tired of the manual processes involved in its gift card program. Under the program, communities in need around the world request gifts that can include school supplies, livestock or items like the recently added masks and sanitizers. FH Canada creates an online registry that allows donors to make a purchase and then send a card to loved ones encouraging more giving. However, the program was mostly manual. FH Canada needed a solution to automate these greeting cards in NetSuite – to save staff time, simplify the process and improve donor recognition. It turned to the Hackathon 4Good.
Changing the Hackathon 4Good to a virtual event meant the event could now be open to a global employee audience and lengthen the hacking period, from 12 to 48 hours. Six entries were narrowed down from 20, and those six teams presented their solutions to NetSuite executives and FH Canada in the final judging round.
“It was amazing work by all of the Hackathon teams, especially in such a short period of time,” said Gary Wiessinger, senior vice president of product management and one of the judges. “They used the platform to do things I never thought NetSuite could do. It’s exciting and rewarding to see these remarkable solutions that will help FH Canada in their mission to help so many communities in need.”
The winning solutions are both innovative and user friendly. Team Key Mark built a SuiteApp that directs donors to an immersive and intuitive card creation portal where they can make personalized cards with multimedia support. Being desktop-and mobile-friendly with social media links in the e-cards was a highlight of the solution – all supporting the donor and recipient experience.
Team ACS Chivito’s solution is focused at streamlining and optimizing the process for both donors and FH Canada’s staff. The team built a gift card configurator page, hosted in NetSuite, where donors can personalize and define the specifics of the card.
“It was so valuable to be part of the NetSuite Hackathon 4Good. Food for the Hungry Canada received all sorts of creative ideas from not only the winning teams, but from the vast majority of the teams,” said Mark Petzold, vice president of operations. “We are really looking forward to taking the best ideas and implementing a solution that will really elevate our donor's experience.”
Oracle NetSuite Social Impact supports nonprofits and social enterprises of all sizes globally. The Suite Pro Bono program brings passionate employees, partners and customers from the NetSuite community together to help Social Impact customers use NetSuite more effectively.