After leading the do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ ); event in 2014 and 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa, Hugh Lashbrooke is bringing the event to Texas with the help of Austin local David Cole. The Austin WordPress Meetup Group will be hosting the hackathon on April 8th, which will coincide with WooConf.
Participants will spend the day building new WordPress-powered websites for 10 local non-profit organizations. At the end of the day, the following charities will have a new (or revamped) online presence with free hosting:
- North Austin Community Media (aka KXPE-LP)
- The Blood Center of Central Texas
- Refugee Services of Texas
- Circle of Health International
- Black Fret
- AIDS Services of Austin
- Texas PACE Authority
- Day With Daddy
- Austin Kids First
“What we’re looking for are 5-6 people to sign up for each build team and with 10 build teams that means we’re looking for 50-60 people to get involved and help to give back to the non-profits in the Austin area,” Lashbrooke said. “It’s important to note that the build teams are not just developers – we’re looking for project managers, social media managers, designers and content creators as well as developers.”
The hackathon will be held at the tail end of WooConf and Lashbrooke said he hopes to attract a few WooConf attendees.
“We’re going to make a more direct push to get WooConf attendees to be a part of the event, but right now the sign-up form is open to absolutely anyone,” he said.
As part of the WordPress Community team’s new initiative to standardize certain specialized full day events, the do_action charity hackathon is now fully backed by the WordPress Foundation.
“The Foundation will be on hand to offer support (logistically and financially) where necessary, just like with regular meetup events,” Lashbrooke said. “I will also be putting together documentation on how we organize this kind of event, which will be published on WordPress.org so that other communities can replicate the event type in their area.”
When looking for non-profits to include, Lashbrooke said they don’t only look for organizations without websites. They also look for those that need their online presence improved or otherwise entirely rebuilt.
“That may mean their website works fine, but it doesn’t really cater to their needs (accepting donations, selling goods, encouraging volunteers, etc.), so then on the day we can refresh things for them and make it all work in the way that they need it to,” he said.
“It really does feel great – the non-profit representatives are there on the day as well, and seeing their reaction to the results of the hard work from their teams is always hugely satisfying,” Lashbrooke said. “Ultimately, what we’re doing is empowering non-profits to get on with the work that they do best without their online presence being a hinderance to their work.”
If you live in Austin or will be attending WooConf and want to be part of the hackathon, you can sign up via the volunteer form.