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GiveCamp Crushes Support for Local Non-Profits Again in 2015

Brad Nellis |

What happens when 200+ developers and tech folks convene for a weekend in Cleveland?  Magic, that’s what. 

Oh, and really great website and software projects for non-profits in Northeast Ohio too.

Cleveland GiveCamp makes this magic happen, and they’ve been doing it for six years now.  Annually GiveCamp recruits 100s of volunteers and selects worthy tech projects from local non-profits.  It’s an incredible, intense weekend that’s huge and so very beneficial to organizations doing important work in our community.

Folks from Cleveland GiveCamp shared some details on this year’s weekend, which ran 7/17-20.

OHTec:  How many volunteers did you have this year?  How many non-profits were supported?  How does that compare to the last couple of years?

GiveCamp: Our volunteer numbers remain relatively consistent from year to year. We had about 200 volunteers supporting 19 nonprofit projects. Our project number was down slightly, but that was by design. We had a few larger projects that we wanted to make sure were staffed properly and could succeed within the weekend timeframe.

OHTec:  What kind of projects did the volunteers work on this year?  What kind of impacts can the non-profits expect from some of those projects?

GiveCamp:  The largest percentage of projects was websites. Given the changes coming via Google for search and SEO, it was important for many organizations to update their sites to be mobile responsive.  

But we had some really different and amazing projects this year. One was an online game, another was a mobile GPS-enabled web app, and there were a few really cool database projects that will create major efficiencies for nonprofits.

And all 19 projects launched successfully at the end of GiveCamp! That’s pretty amazing considering the scope of some of them.

OHTec:  What were some of the most unique skills shared by the volunteers?  Like writing code while juggling or reciting Shakespeare?

GiveCamp:  Everyone at GiveCamp has unique skills to help their team. But some that stuck out were a 3-D animator and some game designers, which were critical to the success of one of the projects. We also had a volunteer with Salesforce for nonprofit experience, that skill helped keep a team from having to develop a fully custom product.

OHTec:  We heard there were some really cool projects this year, very different from projects in the past.  Can you share some details on those?

GiveCamp:  We produced a children’s educational game for Veggie U. There was a team of 19 on that project and this is the first time we ever produced a game at GiveCamp. There was also a mobile GPS-enabled web app for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens to help people navigate the gardens AND find out information on the different sculptures and features in the gardens. The nonprofit has the ability to easily add and update the data on its own. It works really well on a phone for those who are walking through the gardens.

There was also a project for ESOP that will greatly improve efficiency for the organization. The online data collection platform will allow their staff to enter information remotely into a repository that automatically aggregates information. In the past, staff entered information on a spread sheet and that information was manually calculated by a staff member every Monday. It would take that person a whole day. Now, it is done automatically. It creates efficiency so that person can do other things to help that organization. That’s pretty cool.

OHTec:  Completing this work in just one weekend is demanding, how did the volunteers deal with “sleep deprivation”?

GiveCamp:  RedBull, coffee, ice cream on Saturday night…. Also, we have an amazing team of volunteers that we call Team Z. They are the food committee. We feed all of our volunteers during the weekend and I must say that we eat pretty well at GiveCamp!

I also have to put in a plug for our sponsors here. Thanks to sponsors like OHTec, BlueBridge NetworksOnShift  and others,  we’re able to do this whole event. We feed and supply the necessary caffeine/supplies for our volunteers Friday – Sunday as thanks for their dedication to the event. Our sponsors make this possible. 

Cleveland GiveCamp is an amazing group of folks committed to using their skills to make the CLE an even better place to live, work and thrive.  We can’t thank them enough for their efforts and we’re really proud to help out in our small way. 

And here’s some great (and kind of embarrassing) pictures from the weekend 

Well done, Tech and great job GiveCamp!