The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Chicago 2015, May 2-3

Nerds will give their time, talent and weekend of May 2-3 to help nonprofits do what they do - but better - online

About the Event

Registration for nonprofits is open until April 1 (April 12 for volunteers and dev teams) for The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge. On May 2-3, a few hundred web pros (nerds) will spend 24 hours – in a row – helping nonprofits create websites they couldn’t otherwise afford, all pro bono.

The Nerdery is again organizing simultaneous nerdathons in Chicago, Kansas City and the Twin Cities. Since the first Overnight Website Challenge in 2008, more than $5 million in professional services have been donated to 144 nonprofits.

Nerd Need-To-Knows

Volunteer teams must self-organize with 8-10 web pros by April. Team captains recruit their peers and cover these skill sets: front-end development; back-end development; project management; strategy; UX; graphic design; copywriting; QA. All team members must be present the entire 24 hours (no working from remote/undisclosed locations). During this hackathon, web pros show up not knowing what nonprofit they’ll serve, pro bono, for the next 24 hours. In the final hours, an independent panel of judges/thought leaders representing the nonprofit and interactive communities will begin assessing the work of development teams; this same panel of judges will have previously selected participating nonprofits from a larger pool of qualified applicants. Returning volunteers, please note that previous log-in credentials do not carry over year-to-year.

Nonprofit Need-To-Knows

Eligible nonprofits (501c3-registered organizations in Illinois) can apply by April 1 for this pro-bono opportunity by articulating their vision of how nerds could further their mission through better use of interactive technology. After completing their application, nonprofits direct their constituents/fans to post supporting testimonials to their online profiles; selection judges will favor nonprofits whose applications are endorsed by people served by the organization, donors, volunteers, staff, board members and other supporters. Orgs must upload proof of 501c3 nonprofit status to complete their application.

About The Nerdery

During our more normal working hours, The Nerdery (nerdery.com) is a custom software development company where we believe passionate nerds are the driving force behind business breakthroughs. When we’re not just giving it all away pro bono, we still don’t sell websites or mobile apps; we sell access to unstumpable problem solvers whose purpose is to redefine what’s possible through technology. While surely we work for our clients – we do this best as your collaborative partner, sharing a common goal. We balance innovation and pragmatism, learn together, share expertise and encourage innovation through culture. We’re as passionate about our clients’ business as our own. Headquartered in the Twin Cities, The Nerdery has offices in Chicago, Kansas City and Phoenix. Founded by three programming pioneers in 2003, The Nerdery is the professional home of 525+ web developers, UX designers, QA engineers and other Nerds. The Nerdery has made Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing private companies each year since becoming eligible and appeared on multiple top workplace lists.

The Nerdery established The Nerdery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to advance philanthropic initiatives like The Overnight Website Challenge. Like-minded companies/foundations interested in sponsorship opportunities or donations should contact info@overnightwebsitechallenge.com or call 877-OMG-NERD.

Important Dates

April 1
Nonprofit registration closes
April 12
Volunteer/team registration closes
April 13
Announce selected nonprofits/teams
April 20
Pre-Challenge Mixer
Shortly before Web Challenge weekend, The Nerdery convenes team captains and nonprofit reps for an orientation/speed-dating exercise to make best-possible matches between orgs and nerds – but neither the nonprofits nor teams know with whom they’ll be paired until the 24-hour countdown clock begins ticking at 9 a.m. on the Saturday of Web Challenge weekend.
May 2-3
Web Challenge weekend
Official hours are 9 a.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Sunday, but with set-up and come-down time, you’ll want to otherwise clear your calendar for the entire weekend.
May 28
Web Challenge Awards
Awards night happens a few weeks after Web Challenge weekend. Top teams are recognized for Design/UX, Functionality, Impact and Best in Show. The People’s Choice award is a crowd-sourced via public voting, based on before/after screenshots, links to new websites and testimonials from nonprofit reps and web pros. Top prize remains bragging rights, and the gratification of nerdy deeds done in the name of community service.

Location

TechNexus
20 North Upper Wacker Drive #1200
Chicago, IL 60606

Day of the Event

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Registration, teams set up work stations
8:45 a.m.
Welcome announcements, including team’s nonprofit assignments
9:00 a.m.
Countdown begins. Nonprofits meet their team of volunteers and get to work
Noonish
Lunch
6:00 p.m.
Dinner
Midnight
Second dinner
6:00 a.m.
More caffeine and/or calories – everything must go...meanwhile, judges make the rounds to begin assessing each team's work
9:00 a.m.
Drawing for fabulous prizes, then goodbye until May 27 Web Challenge Awards night (you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here)

Facebook Official