Virgin Money Giving Integration is back!

When I was first asked to integrate Virgin Money Giving with Social Hiking to match the existing JustGiving integration (quite a few years ago now) I hit a fairly major stumbling block. Virgin Money Giving, a fairly new site at the time, did not have an official API (Application Programming Interface – the magic that allows sites to integrate with each other). Instead I had to use an unofficial setup someone had knocked together which created the data I needed from the actual web pages on Virgin Money Giving. Roll forward a few years and this ‘bodge’ broke horribly with subsequent updates to Virgin’s website. The good news however is that they have also released an official API… so…. after a surprising amount of development time…. Virgin Money Giving integration is back!

If you link your Virgin Money Giving fundraising pages to your Social Maps, you get a ‘charity’ tab which will appear containing details of your charity, your fundraising progress and a button for visitors to donate.  Unlike JustGiving however, there is not any additional information about your charity or recent donations – that data is just not available through the ‘Fundraising’ API.

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Before you can link specific fundraising pages, you first need to link your Virgin Money Giving account to your Social Hiking account:

1- Login to Social Hiking, and go to ‘Linked Accounts’

2- Underneath ‘Linked Media Accounts’ there is a new section for ‘Virgin Money Giving

3- Enter your first name (optional) and last name (required) and click ‘Find your Virgin Money Giving Account’

4- A list of returned matches will appear, chose the account you want to link and click ‘link’ on the right hand side (this is unfortunately how the API makes us find user accounts – it is a little silly, especially if you have a more common name – try and match the web address that appears to the web address of your Virgin Money Giving profile page)

5- Your account is now linked to Social Hiking . You can unlink your account at any time (for example to link another account) – this does not unlink any maps from fundraising pages.

Now whenever you add or edit a map, you will have the option of linking that map to one of your Virgin Money Giving pages. There are two other options:

‘LINK MOST RECENT ACTIVE PAGE’ – this option updates your list of pages and then links the map to the most recent active page (this is especially if you have just created a new fundraising page)

‘KEEP EXISTING LINKED PAGE’ – this option will appear if you have removed or changed the Virgin Money Giving account linked to Social Hiking. It allows you to keep the existing fundraising page linked.

Enjoy! If you encounter any bugs, issues or have any other suggestions, please just let me know!

Phil

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