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Is Your Fundraising Software Ready for High-Volume Donation Days?

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By Ellie Burke

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Published November 12, 2020 Reading Time: 3 minutes

This article was updated on December 23rd, 2021.

Here at Classy, we’ve had the immense honor of helping nonprofits take time-based giving days, like Giving Tuesday, to the next level each year. In 2021, $39.25 million was raised on Giving Tuesday through 254,000 donations on Classy’s platform.

From national awareness months to Giving Tuesday and the year-end fundraising season, the sense of urgency and excitement created by time-based campaigns has proven to be a successful fundraising model, driving hundreds of thousands of donations.

To ensure these high-volume days occur without a hitch, the entire team at Classy is hard at work to help our clients reach their goals as they continue to make an impact. More than ever, we’re dedicated to the stability and scalability of our platform. We wanted to share the key features and functionalities our software employs to specifically support high-volume days.

Fundraising Software Platform Stability

On high-traffic days, several key components work in the background to ensure a smooth, safe experience.

24/7/365 Monitoring

We’re constantly observing platform performance and server capacity in order to protect our clients and the experience they provide their donors. We make insights immediately available on the Classy Status page.

For any major giving day throughout the year, including Giving Tuesday and December 31st, we take extra precautions by providing real-time monitoring and working in a live mission control room with a team of AWS Solutions Engineers.

Enterprise-Class Security

We use enterprise-class DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) and WAF (Web Application Firewall) protection to ensure our platform’s security and prevent malicious activity. In October 2021, Classy completed the annual audit for PCI Level Certification to ensure the highest level of platform security ahead of the 2021 giving season.

By using best in class DDOS and WAF protection to secure our application, Classy ensures the performance of legitimate traffic is not compromised while protecting it from malicious attacks.

Corey Hall

Director of Information Security and Platform Operations

Informed Third-Party Partners

Classy notifies our partners (such as payment processors and web service providers) when we anticipate high volume around key giving days and the year-end season. This allows them to ensure their own systems are adequately prepared and ready to work alongside our own measures.

Platform Optimizations and Scalability

In addition to the platform stability measurements taken above, we constantly assess our own performance in order to best understand how to enhance and further improve the experience for our customers and their donors.

Database Infrastructure Scalability

Ahead of Giving Tuesday, Classy scales its infrastructure by adding additional servers to its cluster and increasing infrastructure cost. Classy’s platform constantly examines its server capacity and automatically adjusts to maintain steady, predictable performance regardless of the number of donations being processed.

In partnership with AWS and Cloudflare, Classy leads a well-architected audit of best practices in the months leading up to the holiday giving season to ensure our platform and customers are set up for success.

Load Testing and Performance Analysis

We perform extensive load and performance testing throughout the year to prepare for our highest volume donation days. This ensures that our platform is able to handle large spikes in traffic with ease. With a median page load time of 2.4 seconds, the Classy platform is well about the industry average (10 seconds). 

The Classy platform is only limited by the amount of traffic payment processors can support, which is typically 100 transactions per second. With 99.9% up-time, Classy Pay delivers best in class reliability, has never experienced an outage, and processes at 3x the speed of other payment processors.

Giving Days in Action

Platform security and scalability are always at the forefront of our minds, but we’re proud to highlight our platform’s recent performance over key fundraising initiatives.

December 31, 2020

Just a few short weeks after Giving Tuesday 2020, Classy processed over $44.4 million on the final day of the year. Over $1 billion was collectively raised in 2020. 

November 30, 2021

On Giving Tuesday 2021, $39,254,555 was donated via the Classy Giving Platform, exceeding 2020 donation totals. Nonprofit organizations received donations from 161,494 donors around the nation across 8,314 creative campaigns.

Performance You Can Trust

Secure and scalable fundraising software is ready to meet nonprofit organizations where they’re at and where they’re going—whether it’s high-volume days like Giving Tuesday or the long-planned-for holiday season. At Classy, we’re committed to providing stability and reliability so that your organization can focus on mobilizing your community for your cause.

Have a question? Reach out to Classy today.

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