The Rapidian

Grand Rapids GiveCamp gives free websites and more to 15 non-profit organizations

During one weekend, 140 technology professionals donated their time and talents to provide free technology solutions to non-profit organizations in need.

Non-profit organizations receiving technology solutions through Grand Rapids GiveCamp in 2014:

Carol’s Ferals

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore

Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation

Health Net of West Michigan

Kent County Parks Foundation

LGBT Network of West Michigan

Mediation Services

MomsBloom, Inc.

On My Own

Otsego County Commission on Aging

Software GR

SPCA of Southwest Michigan

Steepletown Neighborhood Services

Thrive: A Refugee Support Program

/Adam Bird, Photographer

/Adam Bird, Photographer

Technology is vital to any organization, but due to limited resources, non-profit organizations are often limited to using outdated and ineffective websites and databases.  

Grand Rapids GiveCamp seeks to ease these roadblocks by organizing an event each year that brings together local professionals -- primarily developers and designers -- to create technology solutions for selected non-profits over the course of one weekend.

The 2014 Grand Rapids GiveCamp event was held November 7-9 at the offices of OST (Open Systems Technologies) on the westside of Grand Rapids.  More than 140 volunteers from West Michigan and beyond gathered to serve 15 non-profit organizations.

“These non-profit organizations are doing really great and inspiring work in the community,” said Janson Hartliep, Co-President of Grand Rapids GiveCamp.  “But they need technology solutions, and we are all here this weekend because we want to help.  At GiveCamp, our volunteers just want to give back.”

The GiveCamp event began at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 7, and concluded at 3:00 p.m. on November 9.  During the 45 hours in between, the dedicated and generous volunteers donated their time and talents to create technology solutions for the non-profit organizations.  GiveCamp teams primarily developed new websites for these organizations, but also worked on other technology projects including databases, applications, and social media strategy.  The total estimated value of the technology produced during Grand Rapids GiveCamp is $250,000.

Kent County Parks Foundation was one of the non-profit beneficiaries. "I am so grateful to be a part of GiveCamp and absolutely blown away by the talent here," said Pattijean McCahill, Executive Director at Kent County Parks Foundation.  "My team worked on two projects this weekend: improving our website and developing a social media plan. The social media project included personal coaching by two social media professionals and training on how to implement the plan. Our organization has very limited resources -- both financial and staff -- to otherwise complete this kind of work.  But through the projects completed at  GiveCamp, we can move the needle in achieving our mission and improve our organizational capacity."

Grand Rapids GiveCamp is one of about 45 GiveCamps around the country.  This is the fifth GiveCamp in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids GiveCamp is a non-profit organization that relies on the support of sponsors to make their work possible.  The following sponsors supported the 2014 event:

 

  • Premier: The C2 Group

  • Champion: CQL Corp., Meijer, OST

  • Foundation: Atomic Object, Blue Sphere Solutions, Mutually Human, Software GR

  • In-kind: Amway, 834 Design & Marketing, Chop & Hue

A date has not yet been set for Grand Rapids GiveCamp 2015.  Non-profit organizations and volunteers interested in participating or learning more, should watch the website, Facebook, and Twitter for updates about the 2015 event.

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