Do you have a problem or barrier technology can solve? dsmHack needs you! dsmHack’s annual Charity Hack event benefits 501(c)3 organizations throughout Iowa by connecting them with technology professionals who have the skills that they need. Have you ever wished a developer could program a new database for you? A designer could have a hand in the look of your website? You’re in luck.
When: Thursday, March 22 –
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Where: FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny, IA
You know the story: nonprofit organizations are constantly operating on a tight budget and with limited time, making many operations and processes inefficient, paper-heavy, and labor intensive. We want to help you change that. Submitting a project will provide the opportunity to work directly with technology professionals that are experienced helping nonprofits realize their technology goals. Great tools will be built or improved for your organization and you will learn a tremendous amount! The goal for every project is for it to reach full completion by the end of the 48 hour event.
The Des Moines Charity Hack event is free of charge for nonprofit organizations to apply for and attend. Ahead of the event, our nonprofit team leaders will work with each organization to prepare them for the event and guide them in organizing the materials they will need to bring to the event.
Developers working with your organization will be at the Charity Hack for most of the 48 hours. Although all nonprofit representatives don’t need to be present for the entire 48 hours, the more accessible you are, the more successful the project will be! Nonprofits will need to be available Thursday evening for the event kick-off and should plan to be available to their team in-person periodically during the day Friday and Saturday. During the times a representative from your nonprofit is not present, someone should be available by phone to answer any questions from your team.
Our event typically follows this schedule:
Here are some examples of projects that would be candidates for submission:
Update and/or improve your organization’s website, including:
Education, outreach and advocacy
Improve existing systems:
Here are the things that make us say no to a project:
Last year, we had about 30 applications for 10 slots. So how are we going to pick who gets in? It’s simple, really: we love variety, realistic expectations and community impact.
Variety: We try to admit nonprofits who work in a variety of areas, and we are looking for unique, fun project ideas that will give our developer participants a chance to showcase their skills.
Realistic Expectations: We want you to leave with a successful project, so we think a lot about what can be accomplished in the 48 hour time frame of the event. If you have questions or concerns about how much time your project will take, contact us at email@example.com.
Charitable purpose & benefit: We also consider the potential impact to the community and the nonprofit from completing the project. Will the project really help people? Will it make a complicated task easier?
While we admit plenty of groups who mostly need a better website, it’s no secret that unique challenges (such as dealing with databases, communication tools and application development) are engaging for our volunteers and will give you a better chance of being admitted. So throw us a curveball! You’d be surprised what we can do.Contact us for help figuring out what project ideas will be a good fit (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Nonprofits are welcome to submit multiple project ideas, and will need to fill out a complete application for each idea you want to submit. In the past, we have worked with nonprofits to combine multiple proposals into one project, given that the scope of work is realistic for the hackathon timeframe.
Before you submit an application, you’ll need to prepare information about your organization and project.