Streamlining Non-Profit Operations Using Custom Software

Case Study: Comprehensive Energy Non-Profit Management Portal

Service: Custom Software Development, Custom Database Development

Industry: Energy

Company TypeNonprofit


A non-profit organization that provides discount heating oil and renewable energy to consumers was frustrated with their current database. The company had worked with a development company to build a custom online database application in PHP, Angular JS, and SQL Server. This online database provided a tool for their customer service team, as well as a membership and financial reporting tool. Slow progress on development, as well as a variety of bugs in the application, drove staff to search for a new company. The client hired Aciron to help them bring the application to completion.

How We Added Value:

We Reviewed the application’s front-end and source code and discover that the code was not well structured or commented. Therefore, fixing bugs would likely cause additional issues elsewhere in the application. 

Aciron recommended a full re-write of the application as the most efficient and scalable solution. A benefit of the application re-write would be to provide the opportunity to optimize the language of the application. Since the system had a SQL Server database, we recommended using a .NET framework for development. We recommended this instead of PHP, to stay in the same native Microsoft technology stack for maximum efficiency.

Gathered In-Depth Requirements to gain a full understanding of the client’s vision for the application. The client was looking for a streamlined portal that would combine all of the management needs into one integrated application. Aciron conducted in-depth interviews and consulting sessions with the client’s key stakeholders. Then, Aciron worked with the client to prioritize their needs and document the requirements for each module of the application.

Developed and tested application by breaking down development into smaller builds. For each build, the Aciron team worked with the client on defining functionality and translating those business needs into a fully-functional, bug-free application. The client was also able to provide feedback and had the opportunity to test-drive the system. In addition, the client identified any desired tweaks before rolling out the application to all users.

Key Insight: Break up development into phases so users can derive value from the software more quickly.


Aciron developed a comprehensive energy non-profit management portal. This combines all of the tools that the organization needs for customer service, membership management, and financial reporting. The client is extremely satisfied with the re-write of their old application and its expansion into a comprehensive portal. They continue to work with Aciron to add new functionality. Staff members are able to more easily manage membership data and provide improved customer service. The extranet module of the application provides members with a more user-friendly way to apply for programs and connect with the organization. 

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