We just wrapped the Seattle GiveCamp 2019. If you’ve never heard of GiveCamp, make sure to check out https://givecamp.org/. The short version is that we get a number of non-profits with technical needs and a number of willing technical volunteers to come help them with those technical needs – lots more detail below.
I’ve been involved in the Ann Arbor GiveCamp back when we were really early on in figuring out the process. Chris Koenig got this movement started in Dallas. I got involved when Jennifer Marsman and Michael Eaton ran one in Ann Arbor. I feel in love with the movement and have been involved a ton. Two years ago, while at a conference and giving a talk about building community, I talked heavily about GiveCamp and the Seattle GiveCamp leads, Paul Litwin and Suzanna Litwin, came up to me and asked me if I’d like to get involved in the Seattle GiveCamp. Of course I said yes and have helped with the last two.
This year has been a fantastic labor of love. We had 10 non-profits this year:
- Cancer Pathways — provides support to those affected by cancer. They run an annual contest for teens to write about how cancer affected them. They had just a folder of PDFs which we helped to organize better, convert to HTML, allow for search and much more over the past 13 years worth of contest articles. You can see that work live now at – https://cancerpathways.org/winning-essays/.
- Freedom Project — supports healing connection and restorative communities both inside and outside prison through the strategies of Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness, racial equity and anti-oppression. As their non-profit rep said, the website looked like an encyclopedia with lots of walls of text. They needed a redesign that embodied their culture and mission. You can see that live now at http://freedomprojectwa.org/.
- Friendship Adventures — is dedicated to enriching the lives of people with developmental disabilities by providing social, recreational and educational activities in a safe, engaging environment—building interpersonal skills, confidence and lifelong friendships one smile at a time. I have a special connection to this one as my daughter Maura is likely to become a member as she approaches her adulthood. They were doing the registration of all 1500+ of their members by hand on paper. They desperately needed way to do this all electronically. You can see the form that we created for them live now under Yearly Registration Form – https://friendshipadventures.org/forms/.
- iD.A.Y.dream — inspires youth to daydream out loud. They needed a website that would embody their mission and have automation around email lists and more. Deeper than that, we had a fantastic designer on the project who helped them produce a complete brand language including colors, fonts, logos, … You can see that live now at https://www.idaydream.org/
- Neurological Vocational Services Unit — helps people with neurological conditions gain independence one person, one job, at a time. This non-profit was a repeat customer of the Seattle GiveCamp. They had build a website with us many years ago but as tech moves on, the template that had been used was no longer supported by the latest versions of WordPress. Take a pause and realize that they were actually updating their WordPress install themselves – I love that. They needed a refresh on the site and a new theme that would be compatible with the new versions of WordPress. You can see that live now at http://nvsrehab.org/.
- PeaceTrees Vietnam — heals the legacy of war by removing dangerous explosives, returning land to safe use, promoting peace and cultivating a brighter future for the children and families of Vietnam. It’s amazing, they will turn a landmine filled field into a park, school, library, … They needed an interactive map that can show their projects all over Vietnam so that they could show their impact for their donors so that they can get funding to accomplish even more. We built that complete with an admin portal that can edit the points. It’s not quite live at the time of writing here but it’s coming soon.
- Roots Young Adult Shelter — builds community and fosters dignity through access to essential services and a safe place to sleep for young adults experiencing homelessness. Their site was unwieldy and complicated to manage. We helped them rebuild their website so that it was far more accessible to their audience and manageable by their staff. You can see that’s live now at https://www.rootsinfo.org.
- Special Bunny Rabbit Rescue — is a Seattle-area house rabbit rescue. Bunnies are the number three most adopted pet and the number one abandoned. Special Bunny Rabbit Rescue rescues these rabbits and helps those who have special needs bunnies. They had an overly complicated to navigate and maintain website which we helped them redesign and rebuild. They are live now at https://specialbunny.org/.
- Street Youth Ministries — provides youth in Seattle’s University District with life-skills, resources, and relationships that bring hope and healing to their lives and the community. This is another repeat customer to GiveCamp. Last year, we helped them build their light weight CRM so to speak. They have a highly customized use case and which only used about 5% of the functionality of a traditional CRM but required at least that much custom work. This year, we helped them implement new functionality and bug fixed a few things from last year. That’s an internal tool that they’ve already rolled out to their staff.
- Transplant House — provides thoughtful and clean spaces for transplant patients and their families, a home away from home so to speak. They had been doing the hoteling for all of their rooms manually with a lot of excel spreadsheets. We built them a workflow that helps them manage that on the back end of their website complete with reports and more.
We helped a lot of people this weekend. As always, it was an incredibly rewarding and incredibly exhausting experience.
Paul and Suzanna have been running the Seattle GiveCamp for the last 9 years and have decided to step back a little. They will still be involved but not running things next year. They have asked me to lead next year and I’ve said yes.
Looking forward to next year’s Seattle GiveCamp! It will be Oct 23-25, 2020.
If you are or know of a non-profit in the Seattle Area, have them sign up for notification when we have the call for non-profits, have them sign up at http://seattlegivecamp.org/nonprofit.aspx.
If you would like to volunteer, either as a tech volunteer or as a operational support volunteer, please register to be notified when we open our call for volunteers at http://seattlegivecamp.org/volunteer.aspx.