Optimization of the Donation System

Optimization of the Donation System
Statistics #1
Reducing the number of volunteers handling applications and donations by 30%
Statistics #2
12,000 children received a charitable Christmas gift
Statistics #3
The highest project’s KPI’s of 10,000 applications

Julehjælpen.dk is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help Danish families in financial need. It provides the families with needed resources, which gives them a chance to have a joyful Christmas.

They do this by connecting donations with recipients, which means that children, for example, receive clothing, gift cards, and toys. Julehjælpen.dk's main task is to facilitate the communication between donors and applicants, ensuring that the delivery reaches its destination.

At Christmas 2019, Axla ApS sought charitable organizations that wanted to be among the potential recipients of a donation. The donation consisted of a tailored digital software solution, and in January 2020, Julehjælpen.dk was chosen. They faced the challenge that their donation system was not up-to-date and, among other things, did not offer the many volunteers a clear and efficient user interface.

The system was challenging and time-consuming for the volunteers who were assisting in ensuring a merry Christmas for the families in need. Additionally, it was not intuitive or straightforward for the many families applying for Christmas aid. With the new software system, the process became easier for everyone involved in this charitable cause.

From Wish to Reality

We selected three candidates for a final selection round. We had a meeting with them to discuss their vision, requirements, and desires for their digital software solution. Julehjælpen.dk stood out with an extremely detailed project description and an exciting case that would benefit thousands of children and significantly ease the work for many volunteers.

"We were facing a huge challenge with the old system, which was not compatible with our current needs, and we had to find a new solution. When I saw Axla's post on LinkedIn, I wrote to René with the caveat that they probably wouldn't choose us. We had a pretty big project up our sleeve that we wanted to realize. Therefore, it is truly wonderful that they have chosen us as the recipient of the donation. It is a massive donation – in fact, one of the largest we have received. It allows us to help up to 2,000 families, so they can have a merry Christmas," says Henrik Hahn-Nissen, chairman of Julehjælpen.dk.

The opportunity to realize the dream of a new donation system became a reality on a cold January day when we called the vice-chairperson of Julehjælpen.dk, Susan Arendtsen. We informed her of the news that they had been chosen as the recipient of our donation - a digital software system.

Things moved quickly from there. Just four working days later, Julehjælpen.dk received the first demo version of the software system. Based on their clear vision and the initial dialogue, the foundation had been laid for an efficient and fruitful process.

The new software system was developed continuously, and the new features were tested by Julehjælpen.dk weekly in an open dialog with the project manager. In this way, we continuously adjusted the solution and verified that the system solved the exact needs that Julehjælpen.dk wanted to offer their applicants, donors and volunteers.

A New Way to Utilize an E-Commerce Solution

During the initial meeting, it became evident that the needs and desires of Julehjælpen.dk could be fulfilled, quickly and effectively, by basing the donation system on the e-commerce platform, nopCommerce.

nopCommerce is typically used as a template for creating online commerce solutions. It is commonly employed for webshops, due to the fact that it is flexible and feature-rich. Therefore, it can easily serve as the foundation for developing other types of software solutions, such as a donation system.

In addition to fulfilling basic requirements, the solution also complies with GDPR legislation by ensuring that personal data is handled and stored securely. In the new system for Julehjælpen.dk, the integration of NemID (a Danish public login system) and address lookup against a public registry are utilized to minimize fraud.

This was a significant feature for Julehjælpen.dk as they had faced challenges in previous years with multiple individuals attempting to seek assistance without proper eligibility. This required the organization to invest significant resources in verifying whether the recipients fell within the correct category. With the new solution and updated regulations, Julehjælpen.dk can quickly assess the recipient's situation and approve applications more efficiently than before, and thereby streamline the process and reduce the administrative burden.

Equipped to use the system

Before the official launch of the donation and application system in October 2020, it was essential for the volunteers to be equipped to use the system. Additionally, it was important for the user-friendliness to meet the high standards set by Julehjælpen.dk. Therefore, Axla conducted a workshop where the volunteers went through the system and various user flows. They took on different roles to experience the user journey from the perspective of a donor, applicant, and volunteer.

One of the strengths of nopCommerce is the ability to create and assume different user types and access levels. One user type is not dependent on another, allowing for continuous development and customization of individual user types and access levels, based on needs and preferences. This flexibility was advantageous for Julehjælpen.dk, where users required different degrees of access and functionality.


The new donation system was used for the first time, in 2020. It was a record year in several KPI’s: 10,000 applications, 12,000 children received a Christmas gift, most physical donations and gift cards for more than 500,000 DKK.

Regarding 2020, they further report that:

  1. They were able to reduce the number of volunteers handling applications and donations, by approximately 30%.
  2. The system received high praise for its user experience, especially from the applicants.
  3. The system saved a tremendous amount of time in creating donations within the system.
  4. They quickly learned and became completely familiar with the new system due to its user-friendliness.

The donation system is well-suited to be based on nopCommerce, as it shares many similarities with a regular webshop. The difference is that it has been customized with tailored features to meet the needs of the donation system.

Both applicants (families) and donors need to create a profile in order to proceed with the application for Christmas aid and donation submission, respectively. The profile creation for applicants and donors is based on the "create customer" functionality in nopCommerce.

The applicants need to be subsequently approved to receive donations by the "elves," who are the administrative personnel at Julehjælpen.dk.

Once approved, they can go in and make a donation request - just like a customer placing an order in an online shop. Therefore, a donation request replaces an "order" in a typical webshop.

Afterwards, the "elves" take over and assess, as well as approve, how many of the donation requests that can be fulfilled. Finally, the applicant receives the approved donations they have applied for.

Unlike a regular webshop, there are no payments involved, as the donations are free. Therefore, nopCommerce has been customized to support a payment-free transaction.

Donors can create their own donations, in the system, once they have created their user account, and it has been approved by an elf. The donor types in relevant information and can also upload a picture of the donation. In this case, the mandatory "product" in a webshop is replaced with a "donation".

The "delivery" becomes a specific agreement between the donor and the applicant. They communicate with each other and make the final arrangement on how the donation will be delivered or picked up.

The donation system has a new integrated feature that makes it easier for the administrative personnel to prevent fraud by applicants. The Danish public login system is required when sending an application for Julehjælpen.dk - this ensures that the donations are received by families with genuine needs.

This solution offers various donation options; the homepage has a mobile payment function that enables anyone to submit an arbitrary amount to Julehjælpen.dk. Hereafter, Julehjælpen.dk distributes the money donations to applicants in the form of a direct monetary donation or in the form of organizing events for the benefit of the families.

Furthermore, there is a "Support Us" call-to-action button. Through this button, readers can, quickly and easily, see different ways to support the organization. For example, sponsoring as a company with a service or other contributions that aligns with the company's values and purpose.

nopCommerce has been a solid foundation for providing Julehjælpen.dk with the donation platform they desired - "money" is replaced by a payment-free feature, and "customers" are replaced by applicants.

nopCommerce is brilliant for creating websites with numerous and diverse functionalities, even for those that go beyond the scope of a typical webshop.

Axla ApS is a Silver solution partner of nopCommerce and a software company that utilizes the potential of the platform to create more than ordinary webshop solutions. Examples are a donation system or a "shop" where you can "buy" things by using points. Axla offers guidance on solutions that go beyond the ordinary webshop. We are based in Odense, Denmark, but we are happy to take on projects beyond the borders of the country.