Big Upgrades for 2017

As always we are making upgrades to the FundMonkey campaign management platform to provide more services and to make it easier to use.

Here are a few of the upgrades implemented for the 2017 season.

  1. We added new language to the animation overlay when sending emails and donation codes from FundMonkey.   The new overlay reminds users that sending hundreds of emails can take a few minutes and navigating away from the sending screen will stop the process.  So, the new language reminds users to sit tight and wait for the process to finish.
  2. We changed the language for credit cards that are declined.  Credit card donations require the donor to input accurate information.  If the card information is inaccurate, the credit card gateway will reject the transaction. FundMonkey would report back with a message that said “Credit Card Declined” when in fact it may have not been processed.  Last year we had 6 or 7 donors call us with the complaint that we were declining their cards.  And when we entered the donation manually, the card went through.   The new message says “Oops, something went wrong” and provides options for donors to retry, by turning off autofill in their browser, or switching to a different browser.
  3. We add proceeds from online registration fees to the Fundraising page thermometer.  Before they had to be added manually.
  4. We made a slight change to the online registration capabilities so when participants select an event.  If the second event is enabled, the second event, won’t auto-populate the adult or student section.   It worked fine, it was just confusing to users.

New Feature:

We’re pretty excited about our newest feature.  Many fundraising parents think that their unique code should allow them to log into the site, but the code is only for managing online donations.

Even though we send donation confirmation emails to both the donor and the participant, sometimes that isn’t enough.  Or sometimes, those emails may end up in a spam folder or the parent has a wrong email address on file.

Now Your fundraising administrator can Select “Lookup Online Donations” in the “Edit Your FundMonkey Page” menu and select “Yes or No” on “Enable Donation Code Lookup”.

Selecting “Yes” will create a new blue button “Look Up donations or codes” Using your email address, you can lookup your donation codes and amounts for all participants that share your email address. Entering the donation code will also show donations for that participant.

Typing in your donation code or email address will result in the following information being displayed.

This tool should answer a lot of questions from parents and make the campaign portion of your fundraiser MUCH smoother.

 

 

 

 

Change Log: 10-10-16 Added Animation Overlay When Sending Emails

When sending emails some users would get concerned when the process took over a few minutes, so they would click the send button again, causing the system to send out a second or third set of emails causing extra load on the server resulting in a timeout followed by a “Server Script Error”.

In order to minimize these occurrences, we added an animated overlay that would confirm the sending of emails and spin until all the emails are sent.  This process usually takes from 3 to 6 minutes depending on the quantity of participants and emails.

Some users were negatively affected by a bug in the new code and the problem was fixed within 12 hours of FundMonkey being made aware of the error.   We apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this may have caused.

Change Log: 7-1-16 – New Virtual Servers

Over the summer, FundMonkey engineers were working on a major upgrade to enhance security, scalability and performance.  To that end, we not only moved our servers to a new data center, we also moved the software over to the most recent Windows Server application on a virtual platform.

The new platform will allow us to add processing and storage capacity as needed without further upgrades.

After the transfer, we flipped the switches and turned everything back on. We started testing the software and the many variables offered in FundMonkey.  There are two types of testing:

  1. We test assuming everything is correct.  We do everything right to see if we get the desired result.  This test is easy.
  2. Next we test the software doing different things WRONG along the way to see how the software reacts to mistakes.   This set of testing is even more important than the first set and believe me, it is also more difficult.

While we can test sending a couple emails and processing donations, we can’t test, processing thousands of donations per day and sending hundreds of emails at a time.

The Geeks at FundMonkey are both confident and nervous heading into the Fall 2016 fundraising season. We were excited about pushing the limits of our new servers in the new hosting environment and monitoring the results.

 

Change Log: 3-17-16 – Moved Servers to new Data Center

Late this Winter, the engineers at FundMonkey started the process of moving our servers to a new data center in Altoona, IA – hosted by LightEdge Solutions.   The new data center provides several redundancies including power backup, environmental controls and is able to withstand winds up to 200 mph.

This upgrade is part one of a two part upgrade with the second part requiring an upgrade of our current servers to a virtual environment using the latest Windows Server operating systems and unlimited storage, processing power and bandwidth.

Please bear with us as we complete these upgrades in order to meet the growing demand of new customers to the FundMonkey family.

Change Log: 10-14-15 Changes to Sent Emails from FundMonkey

We launched our first production software in 2009 and since then the rules for sending email have been changing.  Sending email is the backbone of FundMonkey and when sending email through our campaign management interface, in the past we would spoof the receivers with our customer address in the FROM: section of the email.

Email providers such as Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and Hotmail are ever vigilant against SPAM and it has come to our attention that some of these companies are labeling our email method as potentially Spammy and some of them are detouring some of our emails into junk mail boxes.  Since we’re not spammers, we decided to change the methods in which we send email on behalf of our fundraising customers.

On October 14th, we changed all outbound email from the FundMonkey server to be FROM: info@FundMonkey, with a  REPLY TO: field containing our customers’ email address.   Every email that originates from FundMonkey will be from Info@FundMonkey.com and include the sender’s email in the REPLY TO: in the email header.  If participants or fundraising parents need to ask questions with a reply, their email will automatically reply to our customer’s email address in the REPLY TO: field.

With this change, we only have one outbound email address to worry about, OURS, so we’ve also engaged a 3rd party mail monitoring service to help us provide best practices with regards to Spam and Blacklists and to keep our domain free from those blacklists to ensure the smooth delivery of your emails.

Change Log: 10-1-2015 Updated Donation Reports

In response to a few customer  requests, we’ve updated some of our reporting.  The Donation Details report and the Participant Summary report now both include the donation code, team and team leader and now Participant Summary is downloadable as an excel spreadsheet.

We also changed the web view of the Participant Summary to include the above information as well as show donations in descending order from the highest amount to the lowest amount.

Change Log: 9-15-2015 Launching New Blog & Social Media

We are working on doing a better job on sharing FundMonkey’s social footprint.  We have social sites setup but we wanted to add more with a new blog that pushes content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media outlets.  In September, while many of our customers were raising money with Bike-a-thons, Fun Runs and Walk-a-thons, we updated the FundMonkey home page to provide links to our social networking sites.

Our Blog – blog.fundmonkey.com is the source for all new content and blog posts.  Our Production is greatly complimented with the new Blog.  The FundMonkey blog is designed to enhance our search engine visibility and make it simpler to share information with our customers.

Change Log: 4-8-2015 New Credit Card Gateway

In the Summer of 2014 we were notified by our merchant processor TSYS Acquiring Solutions (they handle the credit card transactions) that they were discontinuing their current payment gateway “PayFuse” and switching to a new system.  This Spring our talented programmers created new credit card gateways for processing donations, registration fees, license fees and catalog purchases and sending them securely to TSYS for processing.

During this upgrade, we threw in a few other little extras:

  1. Changed the auto generated donation codes to include a hyphen “-” instead of an underscore “_” following the campaign ID to make donating easier on tablets and smartphones.
  2. Differentiated the order ID numbers, sent to TSYS, to allow us to more easily identify transactions types through the merchant processor database and track them back to the school and the fundraising participant.
  3. After implementation, some customers noticed a higher than average credit card declined notice.  After  monitoring the site activity noticed that some donors were including extraneous characters with their donation such as a “$” dollar sign.  The programmers changed the code to strip all extraneous characters from the dollar amount field.  Customer support contacted all affected donors and helped them complete their donations.