Charity Hackathons: August 2020 Report

In September 2019, we shared about the progress of do_action charity hackathons for the year. We went on to work with 15 local communities to organize charity hackathons in 2019, which is a remarkable improvement over the 12 events from 2018.

2020 brought in some unexpected challenges for community organizers across the world due to COVID-19. By March 2020, the pandemic had spread out to most parts of the world, and hence many organizers were forced to make the difficult decision to cancel their planned in-person events. Despite these challenges, community organizers worldwide joined hands with a firm resolve to help charities by organizing online do_action events. As a result, we have seen three online do_action events in 2020 so far, with more events in the pipeline. 

Volunteers of do_action Japan doing a virtual wave.

In pre-COVID-19 times, do_action events were local – with volunteers and NGOs belonging to the respective cities. However, since online events are location-agnostic, organizers decided to experiment with larger do_action events that elicited participants spanning an entire country! The first of such events – do_action Japan – was a success! The event was followed by do_action South Africa in June and do_action India in August. Community organizers have embraced the online event format and are excited about the process.

As geographical restrictions had eased, community organizers went a step ahead and used the opportunity to help out charities located in far-flung areas. Instead of a single day event, local communities experimented with spreading out the event over multiple days or weeks. Organizers, volunteers, and charities also used tools such as Slack and Zoom to collaborate during the event.

A screenshot from a do_action India launch event.

The three events that have already taken place in 2020 saw 359 participants helping out 23 non-profits build their brand new websites. Volunteers also trained these Non-profits on how to use their websites after each event.

Here are some of the websites built at these do_action events:

More than strengthening these charities’ web presence, the websites help these charities in furthering their mission by assisting them to attract volunteers, teach courses, receive donations, and help more people. Our community members’ excellent work goes the extra mile in taking forward the mission and vision of these organizations.

Volunteers of do_action South Africa are helping non-profits learn how to use the WordPress block editor.

We live in challenging times, where the actions of a global community have the power to uplift others’ lives. Unfazed by the challenges of COVID-19, our communities have done stellar work to support charities that contribute to the greater good. As we move forward to the rest of 2020, we are excited to see what our communities do for even more non-profit organizations, and how the do_action program will grow and adapt to an online format!

Charity Hackathons in 2018

A few months ago we reported on the progress of the do_action charity hackathon event series so far in 2018 — at that stage of the year, we had supported eight local communities to help them run their own do_action events. By the time the year came to a close, we had worked with a further four communities, making twelve total do_action events for 2018.

As the program grew through the second half of the year, the additional communities that had organised do_action events were Stuttgart, Beirut, Montreal, and Port Harcourt. Montreal and Beirut were both returning communities who held their do_action event for the second year in a row.

Continue reading Charity Hackathons in 2018

Charity Hackathons: 2018 Mid-year Report

At the end of 2017 we reported on how the recently introduced do_action charity hackathon event series had been going — by the end of the year, we had worked with four local communities to help them run their own do_action events, which was a great start to the program and one that we were looking to build on for 2018.

Participants at the Bristol do_action event 

And build on it we did! With word getting out about the events and more people in the WordPress community finding out about them, we have already worked seven different communities who ran their own local do_action events — starting with Bristol in February, followed by Pune, Zurich, McAllen, Lagos, Cape Town, and finishing with Harare at the end of July. On top of that, a further three events are scheduled for the rest of the year — Port Harcourt, Stuttgart and Montreal — with another three in pre-planning that are not yet scheduled.

The do_action event in Zurich, Switzerland

At the seven events that have already taken place, there were a total of 220 participants from the local communities, and they built websites for 32 different non-profit organizations in their cities.

Some of the websites built at these events include:

All the participants at the McAllen, TX do_action event

Aside from these fantastic new websites, each organization also received enhanced social media profiles, newsletter integrations and easy to use donation platforms.

In order to make sure the organizations are able to work with their new websites, each event runs training sessions for the non-profits coaching them on how to use WordPress to manage their content and get the most our of their sites.

Cape Town do_action teams hard at work

On the surface these events provide an improved online presence for each of the non-profit organizations, but they really do so much more than that. A website is essentially just code on a server, but what these organizations are getting is so much more than that — what they’re really getting is a platform that allows them to get on with the great work that they do without having to worry about the technical side of things.

With these new websites working for them, each of the non-profits can receive donations, attract volunteers, help more people, and further their work. It is a great gift that goes beyond a bit of programming and really touches the heart of what the founders of organizations like these set out to do in the first place.

Participants at the Lagos event

As we look ahead to the rest of 2018 and beyond, we’re excited to see what our communities do for even more non-profit organizations and where the do_action program will grow from here.