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Star Tribune Nonprofit 100

The Star Tribune top nonprofits for 2017


Data for these projects lives on the DataDrop server.

Data processing

Surveys are sent out via Google Forms to non-profit contacts so that they can be self-reported as much as possible. 2017 edition.

  • Initial list, outputs to data/build/: node data/lib/non-profit-survey-contact-list.js
  • Follow up list, outputs to data/build/: node data/lib/non-profit-survey-contact-list-follow-up.js --list=data/build/non-profit-survey-list-XXXXXX.csv --responses=GOOGLE_SHEET_ID
  • Import survey data: node data/lib/non-profit-survey-import.js --responses="GOOGLE_SHEET_ID"
    • This will create an SQL file in data/build that can be run. This should update when needed and insert otherwise.
    • Note: the logic is not present to find the appropriate officer ID when adding a new officer and salary, so, the first import may cause errors, but these should be fixed the next time you run it
  • Get legacy images. This should already be done.
    • Download the images: node data/lib/non-profit-dl-existing-logos.js
    • for file in data/build/logos/*.gif; do convert $file "assets/logos/basename $file .gif.png"; done;
      • Note that some of the files are corrupt or bad.
      • WARNING This will overwrite the existing files. Not sure convert has a way to not overwrite.
  • To bring in the new data from the database run: gulp data

Environment variables needed:

  • GOOGLE_API_KEY (used for URL shortener)
  • GOOGLE_AUTH_CLIENT_EMAIL (used for spreadsheet access)
  • GOOGLE_AUTH_PRIVATE_KEY (used for spreadsheet access)


This project is best used as a full, standalone page, or an embed. The best way to embed the piece is with the following code:

<div data-pym-src="">Loading...</div>
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>


Currently, this project is being migrated here. Currently, these pages are managed on a PHP server, and data was managed in Access databases. The current pages for these projects are:

Migration of data to the DataDrop server.


This project is meant to live within the Star Tribune CMS. Overall, this means that the markup and content are stored within the CMS, while the styling and javascript is created and managed here.

It is necessary to have news-platform running locally as this will create a connection to the CMS data. It is also important to have it configured with the ASSETS_STATIC_URL environment variable set to http://localhost:3000/ so that news-platform can find the files in this project.

Once a CMS article has been created and the template is set up, make sure to include the article ID in config.json.



The following are global prerequisites and may already be installed.

  1. (on Mac) Install homebrew.
  2. Install Node.js.
    • (on Mac) brew install node
  3. Install Gulp: npm install gulp -g

The following should be performed for initial and each code update:

  1. Install Node dependencies: npm install


To run a local web server that will auto-reload with Browsersync, watch for file changes and re-build: gulp develop

This will proxy your local version of news-platform. To proxy the mobile version use: gulp develop --mobile Note that you can have both develop processes running at one time.

Directories and files

  • config.json: Non-content config for application.
    • Use this to add non-local JS or CSS assets, such as from a CDN.
    • This can be overridden with a config.custom.json if there is a need to add configuration that should not be put into revision history.
  • content.json: See Content and copy. This file is used to hold content values. If the project is hooked up to a Google Spreadsheet, you should not manually edit this file.
  • templates/: Holds HTML-like templates. Any files in here will get run through EJS templating and passed values from config.json, content.json, and package.json.
    • templates/index.ejs.html: The default page for the application.
  • styles/: Styles in SASS syntax.
    • styles/index.scss: Main point of entry for styles.
    • styles/_*.scss: Any includes should be prefixed with an underscore.
  • app/: Where JS logic goes. This supports ES6+ JS syntax with Babel and gets compiled with Webpack.
    • app/index.js: Main entry point of application.
  • assets/: Various media files. This gets copied directly to build.
  • sources/: Directory is for all non-data source material, such as wireframes or original images. Note that if there are materials that should not be made public, consider using Dropbox and make a note in this file about how to access.
  • lib/: Modules used in building or other non-data tasks.
  • tests/: Tests for app; see Testing section below.
  • The rest of the files are for building or meta-information about the project.

Content and copy

By default, content items can be managed in content.json. The values put in here will be available in the templates in the templates/ directory as the content object. This can be a helpful way to separate out content from code.

Google Spreadsheets

If config.json has a content.spreadsheetId value specified, content.json can be updated with information from a Google Spreadsheet.

Since getting this content may not be very speedy, this is not done during gulp develop, so it requires a manual call: gulp content

Setting up

If you went through the Striblab Generator, then this is probably already set up for you, but in case it is not.

Getting content from a Google Spreadsheet depends on a few configurations. You need need a Google Account (such as a Gmail account) and a Google Developer API Service Account that has read and write access to Google Sheets and Google Drive. You should then set the following environment variables. You can store these values in a .env file.

  • GOOGLE_AUTH_CLIENT_EMAIL: This will be something like
  • GOOGLE_AUTH_PRIVATE_KEY: This will be something pretty long, like --BEGIN PRIVATE--XXXXX--END PRIVATE KEY--

TODO (Find some good instructions for using the Google Developer Console; unfortunately its complex and changes often.)

You can then set up a new spreadsheet with the following command, updating the email to use your Google Email. The Google Email you use will become the owner of the document. Note that a Google Email is not always a account.

gulp content:create --email

You can then add collaborators to the spreadsheet with the following command. Note that you can do this in the Google Spreadsheet as well.

gulp content:share --email
Spreadsheet format

If you are using Google Spreadsheets for content, the headers should be Key, Value, Type, and Notes. It is important that these are there in that exact way. It is suggested to freeze the header row in case someone changes the order of the spreadsheet.

Dependencies and modules

Depending on what libraries or dependencies you need to include there are a few different ways to get those into the project.

  • JS
    • Include it with npm.
      • For instance: npm install --save awesome-lib
      • This can then be included in the application, with something like:
        import awesome from 'awesome-lib';
    • For dependencies that are very common and are available through a trusted CDN, you can include it in config.json. Consider using the StribLab static libs CDN.
      • For instance:
        "js": {
          "globals": [
      • In your application, make sure to add a comment like the following so that linters will know that the dependency is already loaded.
        /* global Pym */
      • IMPORTANT Make sure to always use a specific version from a CDN; do not use latest or something similar.
      • For testing, these need to be available and should be added to tests/global.js
    • For local modules that you have written yourself, you can use the ES6 module syntax.
      • For instance, say you have created a utils.js module file, just use a relative path to include it:
        import utilsFn from './utils.js';
        let utils = utilsFn({ });
  • CSS
    • Include it with npm.
      • For instance: npm install --save normalize-scss
      • This can then be included in the application, with something like:
        @import 'normalize-scss/sass/_normalize.scss';
    • For dependencies that are very common and are available through a trusted CDN, you can include it in config.json. Consider using the StribLab static libs CDN.
      • For instance:
        "css": {
          "globals": [
      • IMPORTANT Make sure to always use a specific version from a CDN; do not use latest or something similar.


Testing is run via Jest. Fast, unit and higher level testing will happen on build. You can run these test manually with gulp js:test or npm test.

Acceptance testing (i.e. high level quality assurance) is done separately as running headless Chrome takes more than a couple seconds. You will need a new version of Chrome or Chrome Canary installed, then run js:test:acceptance.

NOTE: Acceptance test will fail until this fix is published.

TODO: Some basic automated, cross-browser testing would be very beneficial. Unfortunately things like Browserstack are very expensive, and managing our own servers to do this would be very expensive time-wise as well.

Embed testing

A manual test page is provided for looking at the piece embeded in another page.

  1. Assumes you are running the development server with gulp develop
  2. Run a local server for the test directory, such as cd tests && python -m SimpleHTTPServer or http-server ./tests/
  3. In a browser, go to http://localhost:8080/manual/embed.html.


All parts are compiled into the build/ folder. The default complete build can be done with gulp or gulp build

Publish and deploy

Deployment is setup for AWS S3. Set the following environment variables; they can be set in a .env file as well. For further reading on setting up access, see Configureing the JS-SDK.


To deploy, run gulp deploy. This will build and publish to the location configured as default (see Configuration below).

To deploy to the production location, for instance, simply use that flag like: gulp deploy --production

A handy command is to use gulp publish:open to open the URL to that project.


Publishing is configured in the config.json file. The publish property can have the following keys: default, testing, staging, and production. It is suggested to use default in place of the staging as the default gets used when no flag is specified (see below). Each key should correspond to an object with bucket, path, and url. IMPORTANT: The url should be a fully qualified URL that ends with a /. This URL will get inserted into some meta tags on the page by default. For example:

  "publish": {
    "default": {
      "bucket": "",
      "path": "news/projects-staging/all/strib-nonprofit-100-2017/",
      "url": ""
    "production": {
      "bucket": "",
      "path": "news/projects/all/strib-nonprofit-100-2017/",
      "url": ""

Using the flags --testing, --staging, or --production will switch context for any relevant publish or deploy commands. Note that if the flag is not configured, the default will be used.

Publishing token

The publishing function, uses a token that helps ensure a name collision with another project doesn't overwrite files unwittingly. The publishToken in config.json is used as an identifier. This gets deployed to S3 and then checked whenever publishing happens again. The gulp publish (run via gulp deploy) will automatically create this token if it doesn't exist.

If you see an error message that states that the tokens do not match, make sure that the location you are publishing to doesn't have a different project at it, or converse with teammates or administrators about the issue.

Styles and practices

Having a consistent style for code and similar aspects makes collaboration easier. Though there is nothing that enforces these things, intentionally so, spending some time to adhere to these styles will be beneficial in the long run.

  • JS: Javascript is linted with ESLint and defined in .eslintrc.
  • Styles: SASS (and CSS) is linted with stylelint and defined in .styleintrc.

Other good practices that are not encompassed with linters.

  • General
    • Comment as much as possible without being overly redundant.
  • JS
    • Use small modules as much as possible.
  • Styles
    • Use classes instead of ids for HTML elements, specifically for styling and JS.
    • Use relative units such as rem, em, vh, vw, or %, instead of absolute values such as px. This helps accessibility as well as designing for different screen sizes.
      • Overall, use rem for "component" level styling, such as a form, and then use em for styling inside components.


Code is licensed under the MIT license included here. Content (such as images, video, audio, copy) can only be reused with express permission by Star Tribune.


Generated by Star Tribune StribLab generator.


The Star Tribune Nonprofit 100 (business, non-profits, ceo's)







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