do_action Orientation Script

You can find out more about how to manage a do_action event on this page. The script below is for running a do_action orientation once the applicant has been vetted and approved.

Interview Interview

This initial interview section is lifted (and slightly modified) from the WordCamp orientation script. It forms a good basis for the orientation here before getting onto the meat of the script below.

When you’re interviewing a do_action organiser/organising team, your approach should be friendly and welcoming. Your goal is to learn about the person/people who are interested in organising a action event in their local community, learn about the state of their local community, and explain our expectations for action organisers. Once you’re done listening and explaining, hopefully it will be clear whether or not the applicant will be happy organising a action event that meets expectations 🙂

Before the Interview:

  • Pull up the action organiser application in Help Scout
  • Pull up the local meetup/user group site.
  • Review both to see if you can identify any major issues that might need to be discussed.

Things you want to know:

  1. Is this person involved in the community?
    1. If not very involved, recommend that they recruit more community members for the organising team and then get back to you with that list before approval.
  2. Is the local community healthy?
    1. If they act like an “owner,” talk inclusion/delegation.
    2. If they act like a “leader,” continue. 😉

Questions to ask:

  1. Meetup Stuff
    1. What is the local community like?
    2. What’s your role with the meetup?
    3. What’s your meetup group like?
    4. How often do you meet?
    5. Where do you meet?
    6. What kind of people usually come to gatherings? (speakers and attendees)
    7. What does it mean to have membership in your group? Are there requirements?
    8. Do you ever do additional events like hackathons or trainings or socials?
    9. Tell us about your sponsorship page and what goes into that?
  2. Community Stuff
    1. How would you describe your role within the community?
    2. What’s your favorite thing about your community?
  3. Organiser Stuff
    1. What do you do with WordPress?
    2. Other members of the organising team?
      1. Talk GPL expectations as applicable (if any members of the team sell/distribute WP themes/plugins/derivatives).
    3. What else have you organised? (Remember that meetups count!)
      1. If not, have them find someone who does and add them to the team (local meetup organiser maybe) and get back to you.
      2. If yes, check and see what events and talk about how do_action event might be different (especially if the previous experience is with organising a corporate type of event rather than a non-profit hackathon).
  4. Why a do_action event specifically?
    1. What’s your goal for the event?
      1. Mention the goals of “connect, inspire, contribute” if possible
      2. Trademark violations?
    2. The thing about the WP Community is that you inherit a family and become part of the community. And we really hold WP organisers to a much higher standard than others.

Top ↑

Orientation Orientation

The intro section of this script have been copied from the WordCamp orientation script, but the rest is unique to do_action events.

The purpose of a do_action organiser orientation is to give organisers reminders and updates around our expectations and tools.


  • review application and previous year’s application, if any
  • review the debrief posted about last year’s event, if any, or recap on last year’s site, if any
  • review local meetup group site to check on frequency of events and diversity of speakers, if any


The idea behind this orientation is to talk over do_action guidelines, tools, and recommended practices so that everyone understands the community expectations for do_action events, which are official events for the WordPress open source project, and so that you know what tools are available to you. Our tools and expectations change periodically, which is why repeat organizers are also asked to participate in an orientation every year.

My hope is that we’ll spend a little less than an hour running through everything — and I’ll be pausing periodically to take questions.

As you know, do_action events are casual, locally-organised hackathons focused on benefitting the local community as well as bringing the community together to share their skills and work alongside each other for the benefit of local non-profit organisations.

do_action organising is different from other event organizing, in that the purpose of organising a do_action event is to have a great event as well as to bring the community together to assist local non-profits.

So whereas when organising any excellent event, you might limit the number of people on the team who will make decisions, and keep discussion private — with do_action organising, we ask people to intentionally gather *more* volunteers than they might need, and keep discussion public and transparent, so that they involve as many community members as possible. It might seem inefficient to include more people than you might need, but this creates some redundancy — always nice when you’re dealing with volunteers — and helps train multiple people how to do organising work, so that the community doesn’t depend on just one person or small group of people to have events.

So let’s talk about the process of organizing a do_action event. At the end of this orientation, assuming you agree with the expectations I’m describing, you’ll be approved for pre-planning the local do_action event.

Pre-planning includes

  • recruiting your full organising team
  • finding a venue
  • setting a preliminary budget

The budget setting isn’t as strict as with a WordCamp as there are a lot less variables and costs involved in a do_action event, but it’s still important to have an initial idea of what this event will cost before announcing the details.

When pulling your organising team together, it’s a good idea to get people with varied skill sets as having different individuals to manage each area of the event is a great benefit. It not only spread the workload around, but it makes sure you have the right people to cover everything you need.

Budget & fundraising

While the costs involved in a do_action event are considerably lower than those for a WordCamp, there are still services that need to be paid for, even if they are given at a discount. As this is a charity event, many suppliers will be happy to offer you free or discounted rates, so make sure they’re aware of the type of event that you are organising. There are two main costs when organising a do_action event:

  • Venue
  • Catering

Often the venue will be able to handle the catering for you, or at least have a list of recommended suppliers for you, so be sure to ask them about that.

When it comes to covering your costs, your funds will come from two sources:

  • The WordPress Foundation (exact amount to be confirmed)
  • Local sponsors

Many of the same companies that sponsor your WordCamp and meetup group will most likely be interested in sponsoring do_action as well, so they should be your first port of call. Outside of that you  will need to find local companies that would be interested in sponsoring this kind of event.

Finding a venue

Finding a good venue for a do_action event is crucial. When looking for a venue, you need to balance cost and practicality as much as possible, so look for a venue that works well for this kind of event, but is not too costly or is sponsored to some degree.

When looking for a potential do_action venue, you need to look for a few things that will help make your event more effective. These are a few of the things to consider:

  • A space with enough desks for each of your build teams – a team could have up to 10 people depending on the needs of the non-profit and how many representatives from the organisation attend on the day.
  • A decent area for participants to take breaks away from their screens as well as eat their meals.
  • An area where you can gather everyone together for delivering information as well as hosting the end of day presentations.
  • A private room where you can train the non-profits on how to use WordPress.
  • Reliable internet access.
  • Easy access to plug points and power for laptops.

You may have already worked this out, but the best type of venue for this kind of event is a co-working space. They usually have plenty of desks (that can often be moved around to accommodate your needs), a well-positioned break area, a private board room, and a projector in an accessible location. They are also usually able to provide all the internet and power that you need for the day.

If you cannot find a co-working space that suits your needs, then the next best option is an open hall with plenty of plug points where you can bring in a third-party internet supplier- community centres and educational institutions are good options for this.

Once you have identified a few eligible venues in your area, then get out there and have a look at them and chat to them about available dates to secure one that works well for you.

When securing a date with your venue, it’s best to give yourself at least 2-3 months lead time before the actual event. The more you can have the better as this will allow you ample time to plan your event, as well as have participant sign-ups open for a decent amount of time. Depending on your community, the best day of the week for this kind of event is a Saturday as it will be a full day affair.

Using the website

Once you have your venue organised along with an initial budget for the event, you can get your details up on the do_action website as After this call, I will set you up as a user on the site where you can add your event details. You will be able to create your event and the submit it for review – please notify us once that has been done and then we can publish the event for you. The required information for having your event published are:

  • Title (City & year – e.g. “Cape Town 2017”)
  • Description
  • Organiser email address
  • Venue
  • Date
  • Featured image (must be landscape, but no specific dimensions required)

Once this is done, we will be able to publish your event. The advantage to publishing on the site is that a large amount of the manual admin work for the event is taken off your shoulders. Specifically, the site handles the following for you:

  • Accepting applications from non-profits
  • Accepting sign-ups from participants (once you have finalised your non-profits)
  • Supplying people with all the info they need (including a map to the venue)
  • Staying in contact with your participants and non-profits
  • Publicly thanking your sponsors
  • Generally getting the word out about your event

The URL for your event will look something like this: – you can use this page to promote your event and accept participant sign-ups.

When non-profits apply for the event, they are automatically added to the non-profit post type in the dashboard ready for you to add to your event. They also receive an automated email telling them that you will be in touch once you have selected the organisations that will be involved in the event.

Similarly, when a participant signs up, they will automatically be added to the non-profit build team they selected in the role that they chose – they will also receive an email notifying them of this and confirming their participation in the event.

Non-profits are saved as posts in a custom post type that are private (i.e. password protected) on the frontend. This is because the non-profit post always contains the contact details of the organisation as well as the names and contact details of the participants on that organisation’s build team. When someone signs up as a Project Manager for a build team, they are automatically sent the password for their non-profit post so that they can get in touch with the organisation as well as their team for the event.

The other custom post type that you will have access to is for sponsors – this is simply a way to add sponsors to the site and list them on your event easily. You will see all the sponsors added by other do_action events here too, so if you see one there already that is sponsoring your event, there’s no need to create a brand new post for them.

Gathering non-profits

Once you have your event details live, you can use the page to promote your event and show people what it’s all about. The initial use, however, will be to gather applications from local non-profits – something that this site will handle for you.

When you are ready to start gathering applications from non-profit organisations, then you simply update the status of your event to ‘Accepting non-profit applications’. Once you have done that, a form for non-profit applications will be added to your event page.

When a non-profit organisation fills in this form, it will add them to the system as a private post, as well as send them an email confirming their application.

Once you have gathered enough applications, or your cut-off date has been reached, then you can change the status of your event to ‘Selecting non-profits’. This will display a notice on your event in place of the form stating that you have closed applications and are selecting the non-profits organisation with which you are going to work.

How you select your final non-profits is largely up to you, but once you have done so, you need to make sure that all of the non-profit organisations are added to your event in the pre-defined meta field. Once you have added them all then all you need to do is update your event status to ‘Accepting participant sign-ups’ – this will open the event up for people to sign up as participants (which I will explain in a minute).

You will notice that all of the available build team roles will be added to each non-profit automatically. If you feel that one of your non-profits does not need all of these roles, or would benefit from some additional role, then you can go ahead and edit that list and individualise it for each organisation. If you would like to have a role listed there that does not exist on the site then please email to let us know.

The criteria for selecting your non-profits are rather broad, so this is very much in your hands. We do, however, have the following as guidelines:

  • The selected organisations must be registered non-profits – this will work differently depending on your country, but it is an important way of sorting out which ones are serious about their work, and which ones are more temporary.
  • They must be local to your area – this is for practical purposes as it means that they will be able to attend the event itself (which is a requirement).
  • They must be in need of a new website, rather than just wanting something new and shiny even though their current site is perfectly fine.
  • While the organisation may be affiliated with a certain religion, it cannot exist purely for the purposes gaining converts to their religion – for example, a soup kitchen run by a church is fine, but an pure evangelism outreach is not.

Other than that, you are welcome to make your own calls with the non-profits that you select.

If you can, find a local network of non-profit organisations that you can get in touch with – GivenGain ( is a great one to use if they are active in your country, as well as many local payment gateways, as they often have non-profit organisations that they work with.

Getting participants

Once you have selected your non-profit organisations, you will need to start finding participants from your local community who can sign up for the event. Once you have updated your event status a form for them to sign up will automatically become available on the event page. Participants can sign up by selecting the non-profit they wish to work with, and then selecting the role on the team that they wish to fill. The roles will be a predefined set that you can customise before going live with sign-ups. By default, each non-profit build team has the following 7 roles available:

  • Project Manager
  • Content Creator
  • Social Media Manager
  • Designer
  • 2 Developers
  • Quality Assurance Tester

You can, however, change this for each non-profit, so it is as flexible as you need it to be.

You will be able to keep track of the participant sign-ups in the do_action site dashboard. Note that because the participants are automatically added to the teams, you could feasibly have sign-ups from people who are in no way qualified to fill the role that they have chosen. While this is unlikely (as people are probably not going to sign up for a job that they are not suited for), it can happen. If you are unsure about a particular applicant then spend some time searching for them on the internet to see what you can find. If you see some clear red flags then get in touch with them and ask them about it, but remember to always give them the benefit of the doubt. The vetting of participants is up to you as the event organiser.


Because do_action events are full day affairs, you need to provide food for your participants. This usually involves the following:

  • Breakfast (or at least a selection of something small, like muffins, to start the day off)
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day

Make sure you do what you can to cater to everyone’s dietary requirements.


As do_action events are official WordPress events, the same GPL and WordPress trademark requirements apply here that also apply to WordCamps and meetups. This means that all of you sponsors, as well as the products that the team uses (i.e. the plugins and themes they install) need to be 100% GPL compatible. If you need some assistance with vetting any companies or products, please use the GPL vetting checklist in the WordCamp Organiser’s Handbook, or ask us for assistance.

Organising hosting

An important aspect of any do_action event is finding a hosting provider who can host the websites of each of the non-profits. Ideally what you’re looking for here is a host that is able to host all of the non-profits’ sites for free for life. Failing that, a limited time of free hosting is acceptable. The options available to you here depend on where you live and what your local companies can offer, so reach out to local hosting companies and see what you can do.

Maintaining communication

When your participants sign up for the event, they will immediately receive a confirmation email and they will be able to find all of the relevant info from the event page itself. This is great and it takes a lot of the manual administration off your shoulders, but even so, it is still a good idea to keep in occasional contact with your non-profits and your participants in the weeks leading up to the event – especially in the final week(s) before the event takes place.

When participants sign up they will provide their email address, allowing you to send them any additional info they need. If they already have all the required information from the event page, then it’s good to email them all the week of the event to finalise everything and remind them of the necessary information.

The amount that you communicate with your participants is up to you, so stick with what you are comfortable with, bearing in mind that it’s nice for them to receive more personal communications from time to time.

The dashboard provides you with a handy form that will allow you to email everyone who will be taking part in your event. You can filter the recipients by role and non-profit, so it’s very flexible and will allow you to keep in touch with people as much as you need to do so.

Next steps

  • I will add you as an organiser to the do_action site and you can start to add your event details. Once you have it all setup please email to let us know and then we can review it before publishing.
  • We can send you some WordPress swag (logo  stickers and button badges) for your event, so please email us your mailing address and we can send that over to you.