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Announcement: Returning to in-person do_action charity hackathons
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, do_actiondo_actiondo_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Learn more on doaction.org. hackathons moved online in March 2020. In the past 18 months, there have been five successful regional do_action events that were held fully online with more events in the pipeline. As in-person meetups and now WordCamps are slowly coming back, it is time to bring back in-person do_action events too.
Since do_action hackathons are similar to in-person meetupsMeetupMeetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook., the guidelines applicable for in-person meetups apply to do_action hackathons as well.
In other words:
local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
vaccines are available for anyone who wants one in your region, THEN
Local community organizers can (if they want to) plan in-person do_action hackathons for fully-vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered people, following local health guidelines!
Due to the charitable nature of these events, WordPress would like to highlight do_action events (whether they are held online or in-person) on the WordPress FoundationWordPress FoundationThe 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 wordpressfoundation.org. website (wordpressfoundation.org), through social media, and whenever possible, in local media. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or pingPingThe act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” one of the Community DeputiesProgram SupporterCommunity Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. in Make/WordPress SlackSlackSlack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. (in the #community-events channel) if you would like help with outreach.
The most important guideline to note for in-person do_action hackathons is that in all cases, organizers should always follow local health guidelines.
No organizer should request or collect information from members about their vaccination status.
Additional safety measures that go beyond local health guidelines are OK! Organizers could consider asking attendees to wear masks, or limiting attendance at indoor events, for instance.
Venues should be fully refundable in case of any cancellation (Free or donated venues are preferred).
Online do_action hackathons can continue for the foreseeable future.
Try aiming for smaller events – a hackathon with two participating non-profits with 10-20 volunteers is still an excellent event!
In-person do_action hackathons have historically been full-day events, but it does not need to be that way. You could organize a half-day opening/closing event, providing light refreshments, and continue the work online, spreading things across a few days. You can still organize a full-day hackathon if you wish to, following local safety guidelines.
Look for a free venue to host your hackathon. Public institutions such as schools or colleges, or WordPress agencies are generally happy to provide their space for a charitable event. Such venues (especially WordPress agencies) usually have excellent internet connectivity and can be onboarded as in-kind sponsors too. Just make sure that your venue meets our guidelines. You can also find sponsors for event refreshments.
If you are interested, you can organize a hybrid do_action hackathon, where participants can choose to join the event remotely and collaborate online.
For local, in-person hackathons, consider creating anevent for your local meetupMeetupMeetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. group on meetup.com and ask participants/volunteers to RSVP in order to get an accurate headcount – this might help with contact tracing, and attendee tracking if your local laws mandate so.
Try to keep your in-person hackathons as local as possible. Out of station volunteers can be encouraged to participate remotely.
You can learn more about do_action charity hackathons in our handbook. Feeling inspired, and wish to organize an in-person (or online) do_action hackathon? Apply now!
Community Event Supporters, Program Supporters, and Program Managers are a team of people from all over the world who support WordPress community events. They mentor, review applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep events moving.