Hello all. I'm a hobbyist developer with an idea for a socially-conscious sideproject. Before I commit to it though, I was hoping to solicit some brutally honest input on whether anyone here might use it. Would you mind taking a minute to give me your thoughts?
I'd build this as an open-source project and offer the service for free.
The idea: An API that allows your customer to "pay" you for a good or service by making a donation to a charity of your choice. The API would (hypothetically) be compatible with any charity that sends out email confirmations for donations.
Example use case: Customers can pay you $ 20 for your online course, or they can make a $ 25 donation to the Red Cross's COVID response, with the donation verified through my API.
Another example use case: You run a SaaS startup where a subscription is $ 20/month. For their first month of service, the customer has the option of "paying" with a $ 20 donation to Doctor's Without Borders.
How the API works: The customer still makes their donation directly on the charity's website, and my API never sees their credit card details.
- At checkout, you direct the customer to a payment page hosted by my "donation API." You specify the amount that they need to donate, and the URL of the charity that they should donate to.
- The API-generated payment page creates a one-time-use email address for the customer. The customer is instructed to go to the charity's website and make a donation in the amount you specified, and to provide the one-time-use email address when the charity asks for their email.
- The charity sends the donation receipt to the one-time-use email address. My API scrapes the email receipt contents to verify that the amount donated matches or exceeds the amount you specified. You can tweak how this works in the API settings.
- My API forwards the donation receipt to the customer's real email address, so that they have the receipt for their records.
- My API notifies you (the seller) that the donation has been verified, either through a webhook, Zapier integration, or by just sending you an email notification.
Again, please be brutally honest in your response. If I built this, could you see yourself implementing it with your startup?
Thanks for your time!