Bringing the Blueprints

Published in
4 min readJan 15, 2015


to Life

We’re excited to share some of our ongoing projects this spring @ Blueprint (part 1 of 2).

1. Partner: RE-volv

A non-profit using crowdfunding to empower renewable energy in the lives of individuals and communities.

What have we created?

A Django application that will replace the website currently available to the public! It enables:

  • people to register as donors and donate actual money to projects
  • RE-volv administrators and “solar ambassadors” (who propose the projects) to work together to define and release projects
  • admins to manage content more effectively on the site
  • RE-volv to integrate Solar Log, a technology that takes solar panel usage data and reports it to admins in the application

What’s next?

  • testing!
  • building the beautiful UI for the site
  • integrating a way for “repayments” from the target organizations to be entered — and tracking how much is being repaid

Since RE-volv’s campaigns fund solar installments for community organizations, and the organizations repay RE-volv with the money they save from using solar power (which then gets put into new projects), the repayment system will be a really key part of the crowd-funding platform.

2. Partner: Food Shift

A non-profit that aims to recover food waste.

What did we envision?

  • a more efficient system to match donors of extra food with recipient organizations in need
  • tools for collecting information on donors and recipients (to secure more funding for Food Shift)

What have we created?

So far, our BP Food Shift team has built a new online platform. Here, donors can sign up to make a donation and recipients can sign up to receive a notification email each time a donor posts an available amount.

A Food Shift coordinator can then see and match recipients with available donors. The platform also tracks all donations and additional info!

What’s next?

In short: a lot of testing!

  • seeing how the platform works with real users
  • adding a new type of user (such as a Food Shift volunteer) to the current three (food donors, recipients, and coordinators).

3. Partner: Project Homeless Connect

A non-profit that provides necessary aid to the homeless and at-risk communities.

  • Nearly 50,000 volunteers
  • Over 75,000 clients
  • In 260 cities (U.S., Canada, and Austrailia)
  • Offered numerous services: employment counseling, HIV/STI testing, addiction recovery, wheelchair repair, mental health assistance

What have we created?

Our team has created an Android application to replace the current system for requesting or receiving services.

This will help the organization cut down on paper and related costs, in addition to moving more volunteers to services from basic data entry. The new system is also more secure!

Fall Project Lead Howard Chen:

Our entire team worked very hard this semester and also had a ton of fun while doing it. We completed the beta version of the app and live tested it during one of PHC’s events (pictured above). The core functionality worked well and cut down the work for the volunteers doing Data Entry.

What’s next?

  • more UI (user interface) updates
  • figuring out a way to handle offline signups.

Thanks for reading!

For more updates, make sure to follow Blueprint at @calblueprint and




A team of students dedicated to building beautiful software for nonprofits and bridging the gap between technology and social good.