Proposal: Centralized global do_action charity hackathons

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 wordpressfoundation.org.’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 doaction.org. 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

Tuesday Training: How to organize an online do_action charity hackathon?

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to better get directly at the issues that seem to be on the minds of folks in our Community. How are we doing that? Great question. We’re either seeking to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly heard complaints, concerns, and confusions.

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

As announced last week, we have a live panel discussion on the topic: “How to organize an online 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 doaction.org. charity hackathon?” for this week’s Tuesday Training!

The live panel discussion is being streamed live on YouTube today – April 13, 2021, 02:00 UTC on the WordCamp Central YouTube channel. Watch it live on YouTube!

This live discussion has concluded, and you will find a recording of the video below (check it out on WordPress.tv). Captions and a full transcript of the video will be available shortly.

Participants: @hlashbrooke, @nao, and @yoga1103 – who are all experience do_action organizers. The discussion will be moderated by me (@harishanker).

The discussion tries to find answers the following questions that we’ve heard frequently from our Community organizers so far:

  • What are do_action charity hackathons?
  • Why should you organize a do_action event? 
  • How do you organize an online do_action event? 
  • How do you find non-profits and volunteers for your event?
  • Can you share a story about the impact that you’ve had based on the do_action event?
  • How do you collaborate for an online do_action event? 
  • Can you share some Project management tips for online do_action organizers? 

Want to know more about do_action events? Visit https://doaction.org to learn more or email us at support@wordcamp.org. If you wish to organize an online do_action charity hackathon for your local meetup, send in an application through the do_action organizer form!

#tuesdaytrainings #do_action

Tuesday Training announcement: How to organize an online do_action charity hackathon?

As mentioned in the last Tuesday Training post from @camikaos, we have a live Tuesday Training session on do_action charity hackathons, scheduled on April 13, 2021, 02:00 UTC!

In this discussion, I will be joined by @hlashbrooke, @nao, and @yoga1103 – who are all experienced 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 doaction.org. hackathon organizers. The discussion will be held in YouTube live on the WordCamp Central YouTube channel, and will be open to all! Community members can also participate in the discussion by asking questions in YouTube live chat, which will be answered by the panelists live, in our call!

do_action hackathons are community-organized events that are focused on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organizations their own online presence. Each do_action event includes participants from the local WordPress community coming together to plan and build brand new websites for a number of local organizations in one day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do_action hackathons have moved online. In this session, we talk about do_action events, and their importance in this post-pandemic world, and on how to effectively organize an online do_action hackathon.

Join the discussion

Date and time: April 13, 2021, 02:00 UTC
You can sign up for notifications on the YouTube live link below!

Come, join us to learn how you can support the global community by organizing an online do_action event!

#tuesdaytrainings #do_action

Request for Feedback: Organizing do_action and Open Source Workshops in 2021

In 2020, WordPress events adapted to online formats, including 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 doaction.org. events and Open-source workshops. It took some time to figure out how to do so, but the community held 5 do_action hackathons and a handful of open-source workshops in 2020!  In moving charity hackathons and introduction to open-source workshops online, community organizers not only brought their WordPress community closer together, but they were also able to make a positive impact on their local or regional community in an exceptionally-difficult year.  

Seeing this impact, the Community team would like to help more organizers host even more of these online charity hackathons (do_action events) and Introduction to Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. workshops in 2021. This post shares some ideas around how the Community team could support do_action and Introduction to Open Source organizers… 

do_action events

Based on feedback from the community, do_action events so far have been quite impactful in how they bring participants together to help non-profits establish an online presence – something all the more significant in 2021. Here are some ideas on how the community can support do_action events:

  • Improve the online do_action event documentation: The documentation on online do_action events can be expanded to include tips on remote collaboration, using collaboration tools, remote project management etc.
  • Outreach for do_action events: This is something the Community team is equipped to do, with mentions in the Make blogs, MeetupMeetup Meetup 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. newsletters, and news posts. The Marketing team could also be very helpful with this effort.
  • Mentorship: 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. and WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. mentorsMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. could mentorMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. do_action organizers.
  • Technology changes to the doaction.org website such as:
    • Adding doaction.org to Google Workspace / G Suite (so that organizers can use custom emails)
    • Modifying the do action event date section to accommodate multiple days. 
    • Moving the do_action application to doaction.org

P.S. If you would like to organize a do_action event, please send in your application through this form.

Introduction to Open-source workshops

Introduction to Open Source workshops help spread knowledge and understanding of the open web and open source. They have also been instrumental in onboarding new contributors to WordPress. With the Learn WordPress workshops on Introduction to Open-source, meetup groups could host a watch party of the recorded workshop, or organize a discussion group. Here are some ideas for organizing Introduction to Open-source workshops in 2021:

Organizers can feature these workshops and discussion groups in 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 wordpressfoundation.org. blogs by reaching out to the community team. Since Open-source workshops are online, there is no cost involved in organizing them, but organizers can always request paid zoom accounts for their event

Proposed Goals

Because charity hackathons and Introduction to Open Source Workshops benefit WordPress communities and beyond, I’d like to propose some goals around hosting these events:

  • There were 4 do_action events in 2020. Let’s aim for at least 8 events in 2021!
  • Organize at least 12 discussion groups based on the Introduction to Open-source workshop in 2021, held in the Learn WordPress meetup group

Request for Feedback

I would love to hear suggestions and feedback 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. and members!

  • Do you have any suggestions, changes, or additions to the proposed goals? 
  • Can you share any ideas that you may have on improving do_action events and Introduction to WordPress workshops?
  • Do you have ideas for any new events that can be organized by the WordPress Foundation in 2021? 
  • Would you be interested in helping to implement suggestions for supporting organizers of these events??


Please share your thoughts in the comments by January 25, 2021 (Monday). 

Thank you once again for all you do to support the WordPress community in these tough times!

+make.wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org//marketing

The following people contributed to this document: @andreamiddleton @angelasjin

#wpf-events-2021 #do_action #introduction-to-open-source

do_action hackathon Cheltenham 2019 – building four websites in a day!

It started out, as many great ideas do, as a discussion over a few drinks!  A group of us from the South West WordPress community were enjoying WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe in Berlin.  Buzzing about the event and talking about how much we loved being part of the WordPress community, one of our number, Elliott Richmond, brought up an idea.  He had a local charity called The Sedbury Trust who needed help with their website. We were all eager to lend a hand, as giving back to the community is important to all of us. One of our group, Laura Hunter, had been a part of the first European 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 doaction.org. Day in Bristol, so had a good idea of what was involved. Fuelled by enthusiasm, we all agreed there and then we would give a day of our time to build a website for this charity.

Organising the day, why help just one charity?

After this initial discussion, Elliott ran with the idea and decided that if we were going to help one charity we might as well widen the net and help more.  He gathered advice from others in the WordPress community, organised the venue in Cheltenham and with the help of his fellow Cheltenham WordPress MeetupMeetup Meetup 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. organizer, Richard Bell, started researching charities in the local area. Using the charity commission website they found local charities that either didn’t have a website or looked like they were in need of an update. Emails were sent and follow up calls made to find out if charities were interested. 

We also did shout outs on social media for local charities to come forward. Sometimes people can’t quite believe that they can get something for nothing, so it was important to explain to the charities what a WordPress do_action day is all about.

The charities

Four charities came forward to apply for our help, including the original charity. The charities were;

Swindon Village Community Hall – an important local hub for clubs and events, with a bar for the villagers on a weekend.

Heart Heroes is a charity working with children and their families living with heart conditions.

The Sedbury Trust provides financial grant to families with vulnerable or disabled children in Gloucestershire

CADCAF is a charity that helps care for special needs children and their families.

Now we had four great causes, all we needed to do now was recruit some willing volunteers to give up their time to help!

Recruiting volunteers

The WordPress community is amazing and we are lucky to have such a friendly group of people in the South West.  Many of us are active members of MeetUp groups or have been involved in UK WordCamps. This meant that finding volunteers wasn’t too tricky and we had a great range of developers, project managers and content writers sign up. Many of these people don’t work for big companies, so they gave up a day of running their own businesses to make a difference to others.

Project managers were tasked with liaising with their charity and getting everything ready for the day.  Although the Hackathon is one day there did need to be some research and work upfront to ensure that our time on the day could be spent wisely.

Building four websites in a day!

So finally, the day arrived! After welcomes from Elliott and introductions to the charity representatives and much needed coffee and biscuits, we got to work!  Elliott took the charity members off to train them on all things WordPress and we got down to it. You could sense the determination of everyone in the room to achieve a huge amount in a day.

I was a content writer on the team for Swindon Village Hall with Laura Hunter as our project manager, Emma Irvine as our designer and Lucy Sloss and Matt Seymour as our developers.  Laura and I run our own business together so we did a fair amount of work upfront, including meeting representatives of the charity to understand their requirements. This meant we could come into the day with a clear plan. Our team was just fantastic, although I would say that! We all work differently in our day jobs but we had to very quickly pull together as a team. Luckily, we all got on immediately and were prepared to sometimes make compromises to get the job done. We supported and looked after each other, which was important over a long day.

Every now and again I would look up to see all these people working their socks off to create websites and it was lovely to see everyone giving their all to make a difference.  We stopped for lunch but apart from that it was heads down all day! When our charity representatives finished their training and came to look at what we had been doing they were amazed.  Everyone worked so hard to create websites that these charities can be proud of.

By the end of the day four websites had been created, four charities were very happy and lots of volunteers needed a drink and a sleep! The finished websites all looked great.

The Sedbury Trust

CADCAF

Swindon Village Community Hall

Heart Heroes

We stayed for a chat and a drink afterwards and we were all buzzing about what we had achieved.  New friendships and connections had been made and we felt the warm glow of doing something for others.

It is thanks to the hard work of Elliott Richmond, Richard Bell and Rachel Willoughby that the day was such a success. In the words of Elliott “It’s nice to be nice” and this day is a great example of that! 

What we learnt from do_action Cheltenham

Preparation is key – Despite being called a do_action day, you do need to spend some time upfront gathering requirements and thinking about the design.

Teamwork makes all the difference – All the teams had never worked together before. You have to create a supportive atmosphere where ideas are listened to and people feel happy to ask questions.

Be realistic, it is only one day! – The websites we created were functional and attractive but we all had to make compromises and prioritise the “must-haves”. There wasn’t time for very complicated functionality.

The WordPress community is fantastic! –  There were over 20 people from the WordPress community involved in the day, all of whom gave up their time for free.

This will make a real difference to the charities involved – By taking away some of the overhead of creating a website, this allows the charities to concentrate on what they do best.

#do_action