GiveCamp is a worldwide initiative to bring developers and Non Profit Organisations together for a weekend. During the GiveCamp developers help the organisations to improve their websites and at the end of the weekend, they donate their code.
For me, the first edition of GiveCamp Berlin has been an eye opener experience. Even if I happen to NOT to be a developer or a designer, I joined as a supporter and volunteered my experience with social networks. Usually managing the online communication for a project takes a lot of time and resources, which many non profits prefer to put on other aspects. So my role has been to give them some ideas on how making the most of their time and still be active and engaging on Facebook, Twitter and so on :)
I had as well time to see how helpful developers can be to Non Profits. They come with the same frustration anyone trying to start a blog or a website knows first hand: you have all this ideas and wishes, you wonder how other sites do it and everyone tells you a different story. In GiveCamp Berlin the 6 organisations, which some are a few years old and some just started, find advice from developers who are really passionate about what they do and are as well really happy to help. Being able to see that happen feels like magic :D
In exchange of their time and skills developers get an opportunity to network with other developers, food and drinks for free during the whole weekend, donuts ;) and of course the satisfaction of making a difference for some really impressive initiatives. The success of this edition can be seen already, a day after the GiveCamp some improvements are live in the websites!
Here the full list of Non Profit Organisations which GiveCampers helped this weekend:
- Rock It Biz helps children to discover and develop their entrepreneurship spirit: www.rockitbiz.org
- KommHelp works on assistive technology for the physically impaired: kommhelp.de
- Irrepressible Voices provides a platform for bloggers around the world to amplify safely their message: www.irrepressiblevoices.org
- Teach First is an initiative to take specialists of a field to teach to students with low social economic backgrounds: www.teachfirst.de
- Fairbindung finances training about sustainability with the profit of fair trade coffee from Guatemala: www.fairbindung.org
- Ashoka is a global platform that identifies and invests in social entrepreneurs and their projects: www.ashoka.org
I am definitely going to be part of the next steps GiveCamp will take in Berlin and as some other attendees expressed, the best part is the really positive vibe across the room and how happy the organisation teams are to get great support in a such tricky field. It was really rewarding to being able to help for a weekend in something practical to those who spend their daily life helping others.
A big thanks to the sponsors and if you read this, I hope to see you as well in the next GiveCamp Berlin!