GiveCamp Memphis 2018

This past weekend, Feb 23-25, the seventh annual GiveCamp Memphis event was held at the Fedex Institute of Technology on the University of Memphis Campus. “GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where technology professionals from designers, developers and database administrators to marketers and web strategists donate their time to provide solutions for non-profit organizations” A dozen nonprofits and more than 80 volunteers made this the largest GiveCamp Memphis yet.

GiveCamp is a national event. “Since its inception in 2007, the GiveCamp program has provided benefits to hundreds of charities, worth millions of dollars of developer and designer time in services!”

GiveCamp is one of my favorite tech events in Memphis each year, not only for the positive impact it has on Memphis, but for the opportunity it gives local developers and designers to get together and work on real projects with real value for these local organizations with limited time and budgets. It’s great to see so many people learning, teaching, and contributing for a cause.

GiveCamp Memphis volunteers work together to build software for local nonprofits (Photo by Jim Sanders)

The nonprofits participating in this year’s event included Memphis Botanic Gardens, Cooper Young Garden Club, Powered by Education, Delta Arts, Gilda’s Club Memphis, People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws (PERL) Cancer Card Exchange, Bridges, The Compost Fairy, Overton Park Conservancy, Clean Memphis, and Community Legal Center. Some of the nonprofits returned for updates to projects built at previous GiveCamps.

What happens at GiveCamp stays at GiveCamp. By participating in GiveCamp, the non-profits and volunteers agree that all volunteers work ends with the event. To avoid burdening volunteers with any ongoing obligation, nonprofit reps are not allowed to contact the volunteers directly once the weekend is over. However, GiveCamp provides free longterm hosting and support to the nonprofits through a dedicated help desk and organizers can reach out to volunteers willing to provide maintenance support throughout the year.

In total, I spent around 29 hours on site at the event over the course of weekend. While most volunteers choose to work on a single project, I tend to move around and assist whoever needs help. I have a lot of experience with WordPress and, since WordPress is used for so many of the projects, one of my favorite parts of the event is helping everyone get WordPress set up and learn their way around. For me, this event is just as much about the volunteers as the nonprofits; it’s a great opportunity for everyone involved to learn and network. I was excited to see such a great turnout this year, including a few of my coworkers from AutoZone.

If you’re interested in learning more or participating in the event, visit givecampmemphis.org
Check out pictures from the event on the GiveCampMemphis facebook page and follow @givecampmemphis on twitter.

Thanks to the sponsors who made GiveCamp possible.