i am wondering if there is an app or another way that i should approach this. So my shopify store offers care packages full of treats (candy, cookies), but i would like to offer a way where customers can donate or put money in a pool where i would send one (or more) of these care packages to local first responders, like to their local fire department. For example, if my care package is around $60, people can donate whatever ($5 or more) until it reach $60 and then i will mail it out. Sort of like a gofundme style.
What is the best way to set that up? thanks!
Shopify is not suited to this, there's no such functionality with native payment gateways.
You would need to find a payment gateway or third party service to facilitate pooling financial resources.
There are many many many subfeatures you would need to work out to make such a system a viable pursuit.
Not advisable to try this unless you have money to burn on development or an established business already using this model in which case you should already have the tools available.
That being said if you just treat each individual allotment as a product then you could track the "inventory" on it and display a calculated sales amount to display on the front end as the current total pool towards a goal.
Obviously if you allow people to purchase varying amounts to the same goal you will need an app, or have to manually track when to fulfill the order.
For example if you only allowed $5 donations on a variant literally titled '$5 donation' on a product '$60 goal Package#1' you would set it to have 12 items in stock then when 0 use an app to automate the fulfillment. possibly with stop-selling-out-of-stock turned on.
The pools could also be conceptually be collections, so a donation could go towards which collection/goal finishes first, etc.
Combine this with either future publishing of later products, or more automation to refill or duplicate products once a goal|fulfullment is met.
There's also the matter you of authorization periods for credit cards, for example with shopify payments you have 7 days max to capture a credit card payment
Also keep in mind privacy laws, do not display customer details yes even names, to other customers or in promotional materials without reviewing privacy laws with a lawyer in the regions of operation.