Proposal: Centralized global do_action charity hackathons

Due to other priorities for the Community Team in 2021 (such as in-person events), we are temporarily pausing work on this proposal. We will revisit the same once the team has more bandwidth, in 2022. More details in the comment.

Earlier this year, I proposed an update to do_action charity hackathons. My proposal was to expand the program, leveraging the WordPress FoundationWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on’s mission (“to make sure we can continue to serve the public good through freely accessible software.”), in order to better support non-profits during the COVID-19 pandemic.  So far, three applications for do_actiondo_action do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Learn more on events have come in this year, out of which, one event has been completed (do_action Karnataka 2021), and yet another one is already on the schedule (do_action Nigeria 2021). 

do_action charity hackathons are a great way to make a lasting positive impact on regional local communities, because of how they empower non-profits with an online presence. I strongly feel that we can make even more of a more lasting impact on the global community by expanding this program. Towards this goal, I propose an idea (that was originally suggested by @andreamiddleton): How about organizing centralized, global do_action charity hackathons several times throughout the year, where volunteers build websites for non-profits from all corners of the world? 

The idea in brief

I’ll be clear — I do not mean to suggest that we close down local/regional do_action events. Local/regional events are quite effective and I vote for keeping them going in the current format! What I propose is that, in addition to local events, the Community Team and the WordPress Foundation could organize centralized online global hackathons that are held several times throughout the year on a regular frequency (cadence TBD).

Global hackathons can be small events held completely online and will be open to a global audience. Anyone – companies, local communities, or distributed groups of individuals can participate in this program. Similar to do_action charity hackathons, charities can apply to participate in this initiative. Based on the number of applications we receive, community deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. will pick a charity to work on and match them with a group of volunteers who will work to build the charity’s new website over the course of a month or so.

Like all other do_action hackathons, this will be a WordPress Foundation event but organized by Community Team volunteers and deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook..

Where the Community Team and Deputies come in

Community Team members and Deputies can help facilitate the program. While they need not be involved directly in building non profit websites, they can volunteer to do so if they wish to. In other words: 

  • We (Community Team members and/or Deputies) select NPOs and volunteers and match them (we will vet them just like what we do with WordCamps).
  • We oversee the project progress and periodically check in with the team to see how they are doing.
  • We do communications and outreach for the initiative and publish blog posts about each website project.
  • We arrange ongoing tech support for the non-profit by working with volunteers or sponsors.

If this sounds like a good idea, I propose that we test this out as a pilot program later this year. If the pilot turns out to be successful, perhaps we can expand the program and continue organizing regular global hackathons in 2022 and beyond.

Request for feedback

This is just an idea and is not set in stone. I would love to hear from you to see if this is feasible in the first place!

  • What do you think about this idea? Do you think this is feasible? Does the Community Team have the bandwidth to execute this?
  • What would be the best way to execute a global event like this? 
  • What guidelines should we have in place for an event like this? I know we can reuse a lot of the do_action guidelines – but how do we best match NPOs and volunteers/companies?
  • How do we handle sponsorships for a centralized event like this? Should we take a page out of our global sponsorship program? (Sponsorships for do_action are in-kind)

I know that there are a lot of questions – I just wanted to put it out there for us to brainstorm. Please share your feedback in the comments by September 24 2021 (Friday).

The following people contributed to this post: @andreamiddleton @courtneypk @evarlese @hlashbrooke @nao and @yoga1103

#do_action #proposal #do_action_online