Last weekend, an amazing group of about 130 area technologists, designers, project managers, and non-profit representatives convened at the New England Research and Development Center (NERD) for the 4th Annual New England GiveCamp.
GiveCamp is a weekend-long hacking event like no other that groups technical experts with non-profit representatives to develop and update web sites, create branding assets, develop social media strategies, update and enhance databases, and work on a host of other tasks to aid the missions of the non-profit organizations present.
Arriving at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening, 'campers' (and, yes, there were at least 1/2 dozen tents pitched in the conference center!) embarked on a 48 hour-ish journey of coding, collaboration, and caffeine with a bit of fun thrown in - make your own sundaes at 10 p.m., for instance.
It's difficult to fully appreciate the experience of a GiveCamp without having been to one, but to help, a couple of the participants have created some compelling retrospectives of this past event:
This year's beneficiaries of New England GiveCamp included 23 non-profit organizations from across New England! But the giving didn’t stop there:
- area domestic violence shelters received quite a bit of extra food from the meals served at the event,
- for the customary end-of-camp raffle, tickets were sold at $1 a piece resulting in a combined donation of $1000 to The One Fund and the Officer Sean Collier Memorial Fund at MIT,
- in a partnership with Catching Joy, New England GiveCamp is honored to have been Mile One of the organization’s series of 26 family friendly, volunteer-focused events leading up to the Boston Marathon 2014.
The event wouldn’t be possible without the amazing group of volunteers and the smaller cadre that spends months leading up the event to recruit non-profit organizations, scope projects, assign volunteers, coordinate sponsorships and in-kind donations, and a host of other duties large and small to make New England GiveCamp the success it is. I can honestly say this event has been the most personally impactful one of my professional career, and it’s a privilege to have played a role in it.
Many thanks too to nearly two dozen sponsors, who through financial contributions and donations-in-kind were able to cover the venue, security, and food and beverage expenses for the event. It was incredible too to see a number of sponsoring organizations have one or more of their employees volunteer through the weekend, many of whom have been present at all four GiveCamps.
For those of you that haven’t made it to a GiveCamp yet, there’s always next year! We’ll be announcing dates soon for the New England edition, so follow the event on Facebook or Twitter to stay in the loop. If you’re in other areas of the country (or the world), we’d love to have you in Boston as well next year, but be sure to check out the main GiveCamp site for an upcoming opportunity a bit closer to you.