Grand Rapids GiveCamp Provides Free Coding, Web Development For 18 Nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS – Earlier this month, the first “Weekend for Good” nonprofit event took place at downtown Grand Rapids accelerator Start Garden that brought together 220 volunteers – programmers, designers, developers, non-technical folks – to create websites, databases and more for local nonprofits.

The event was a collaboration with Grand Rapids Give Camp and AIGA West Michigan that contended leveraging the talents of developers and designers in one weekend event would have the greatest impact.

“There is nothing else out there like this for nonprofits,” said Chip Kraft, Managing Director of 20 Liters, a non-profit that works in part to build water filters for distribution in Sub-Sahara Africa. “This is the only watering hold get this kind of help. Good people showed up to GiveCamp.”

Projets ranged from simple website renovation to application development, to a few all-out brand overhauls. GiveCamp President Joseph Yuhas estimated the total value of the weekend’s work at $378,000.

Sarah Omicoli, a preventio specialist for Safe Haven Ministries, a social services organization, said that her group needed a way to collect critical data primarily around domestic violence.

“The idea is so they can track the impact of their department to help seek more funding opportunities like grants and to show the impact to new relationships,” she said. “This was a dream of ours and now it’s coming true.”

Projects were chosen for their feasibility and fit with the event’s scope. Several agencies’ applications were refused because of lack of time, among other reasons. Leaders from selected projects met with team leaders one week prior to GiveCamp to hash out specific tasks.

Weekend for Good created substantial impact on social media teaching more than 7,000 users on Facebook and generating 38,988 impressions on Twitter. Sponsors for the event included Blue Medora, Meijer and Start Garden. Event leadership said they hope the “butterfly effect” of goodwill continues well past Weekend for Good.

For more information, click on www.GRGiveCamp.org