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Not Your Usual Summer Camp

Lori Halley 05 August 2011 2 comments

Lately I’ve been introduced to a number of great articles, blog posts and organizations through comments in a LinkedIn Nonprofit Professionals group that I follow.  A comment last week led me to an article by Sherri Welch in Crain’s Detroit Business – “Geeks give back:  Volunteers offer to take on free IT projects for nonprofits.”

I thought I’d pass this along since it is informative and inspiring on a number of levels.  First, it introduced me to GiveCamp.org - which “began as a free program to pair IT experts with nonprofits needing their help in Texas in 2007,” and has since “provided benefits to over 150 charities, with a value of developer and designer time exceeding $100,000 in services.”

What is GiveCamp?

GiveCamp is “a weekend-long event where technology professionals from designers, developers and database administrators to marketers and web strategists donate their time to provide solutions for non-profit organizations.”

Sherri Welch’s article describes the Annual Ann Arbor GiveCamp that will take place on September 16-18.   And it quotes Michael Eaton, owner and principal consultant of Coldwater-based Validus Solutions LLC, at the fourth annual Ann Arbor GiveCamp this fall: “designers, developers, database administrators, marketers and web strategists donate their time, primarily to develop attractive, functional websites for nonprofits but also to handle other tasks such as database creation to keep track of clients or other data.”

This free IT expertise is a boon to the non-profits who benefit from the GiveCamp. The only proviso is that projects need to be manageable in a weekend and the lucky non-profit recipients are required to camp out during work on their project.   Sponsors are enlisted to provide food and beverages to participating GiveCamp volunteers.

Are you a potential candidate for GiveCamp?

Of course, those of you who are Wild Apricot Membership Management Software users, don’t need IT experts or developers to create a WA website, manage your membership database or manage events. However, organizations who are not powered by Wild Apricot and are struggling with website or donor database issues, might want to see if you are eligible for any future GiveCamps.  To see if there are GiveCamps in your area, check out their “For Charities” page and the GiveCamp Event Calendar.

I think GiveCamp is a clever idea (with a great logo!) and wonder if there are other ways in which professionals could support non-profits and other membership organizations by offering their expertise pro bono? 

Share any of your ideas or your experiences with GiveCamp - in the comments below.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 05 August 2011 at 9:00 AM


  • Jim Evans said:

    Friday, 05 August 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I was involved with Cleveland GiveCamp in July. We had almost 200 developers, designers, project managers and other volunteers creating websites for 22 non-profits. The dollar value of time was $500,000.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Monday, 08 August 2011 at 4:02 AM

    Jim: Thanks for sharing your experience - sounds like it was a great success.

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