Preparing for GiveCamp 2011

Hey, everyone… I’ve been out of the blogging space for a while for a lot of reasons. Some of it has to do with having too many projects going on at once, with competing deadlines. Some of it’s about being tired. Some is because the things I want to write simply aren’t ready to hatch yet. And a little of it comes from this project I’m not supposed to say a lot about.

But here’s something new! At the end of the day yesterday I spent some time in conference with the organizing team for this year’s Cleveland GiveCamp. We already have bunches of eager volunteers, a floating venue, some early sponsorship interest, and a decently clear idea of what’s going to happen next.

What you need to know

GiveCamp is a bunch of designers, admins, software developers, and business people who pitch in for a weekend to create websites and software applications for free for nonprofit organizations.

This year in Cleveland it’s the last weekend in July, starting the evening of Friday the 29th and rolling through the afternoon of the 31st.

We haven’t decided which agencies and organizations are going to get new websites and software applications this year, but we will probably start accepting applications around May 1st.

We are already taking volunteer commitments! If you can design web graphics, or can lead a project, or know something about content management systems (especially WordPress), or write software, or are good at organizing, or if you just want to help–please sign up now!

We are also working on a sponsor packet, for companies and individuals who might consider donating money, materials, food, T-shirts, or services. That should be available within a couple of weeks. GiveCamp runs cheaply, but we still need a lot of food, caffeine, and supplies to keep it going all weekend.

Last year

Cleveland GiveCamp was a huge hit. We used all of the LeanDog boat plus half of Burke Lakefront Airport (thanks everyone!), had about 110 volunteers who worked on 21 projects, and left charged up to do even more this year! I personally know three people who got hooked up with new jobs as a result of the connections they made at GiveCamp, and everyone had fun. Also, the food was far better than at most tech conferences.


If you’re going to be anywhere near Cleveland at the end of July, here’s what you can do:

  • Volunteer for the big GiveCamp weekend of July 29-31.
  • Start planting some mental seeds for sponsorship at the places where you eat out, work, or shop.
  • Talk to your friends and associates in nonprofit organizations–do their current websites suck? Are they looking for some kind of new software program that doesn’t already exist?
  • Watch this space, and, for more in coming months!
  • Are you in for this year? Were you there last year? Drop a comment and tell us how it went.

I promise hard work, nice people, and lots of fun. See you in July!