Tough choices for selection judges, hard work ahead for nonprofits and nerds picked for 2012 Twin Cities Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, March 24-25
“Let’s do this,” said way more nerds and nonprofits than ever for The Overnight Website Challenge, The Nerdery’s annual nerdathon benefiting local nonprofit organizations. The Nerdery today announced the web development teams and nonprofits bound for a 24-hour blind date during the weekend of March 24-25.
The nonprofits are:
- ANSWER (Aspergers Network Support for Well-being Education and Research)
- A Rotta Love Plus
- Bakken Museum
- Cancer Legal Line
- Career Solutions Inc.
- Center for Homicide Research
- Community Neighborhood Housing Services
- Franconia Sculpture Park
- Little Voyageurs Montessori School
- Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
- Minnesota Environmental Partnership
- Metro CISM Team
- North Star Therapy Animals
- The Valley Friendship Club
- West African Medical Missions
- The Windmill Project
Volunteer teams are:
- Drop Shadows Not Bombs
- Drupal Rocks!
- Full Court WordPress
- Get Off My LAN
- Push & Run
- PHP Nerds BETA
- The Return of Team Redundancy Team Part 2
- The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksman
- Ruby Off Rails
- Run PHP
- Sleep-Deprivation Research Team #4
- Team BIOS
- Team Pegacorn
- Twin Cities EE
- Two Unicorns, One Moon
Competing nonprofits articulated how they’d direct team of valuable volunteers to further their mission online. Selection judges also considered organizational need and online testimonials from people most intimately involved with the nonprofits. Comprised of leaders from the nonprofit and interactive communities, this independent panel of selection judges assessed applications from nearly 70 eligible Minnesota nonprofits; they’ll also pick the top development team at The Nerdery’s all-nighter:
- Christine Durand, communication director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
- Christian Erickson, principal, Zeus Jones
- Jamey Erickson, founder and creative director, Sevnthsin
- Dana Nelson, executive director, GiveMN.org
“I just reviewed the applicants’ websites – trust me, these organizations need help!” said Nelson. “This is not just about a pretty new website. The nerds are helping nonprofits be more efficient in their work, reach more people, do more good. That is collaboration at its best – thank you, nerds!”
“I was really impressed with the ethos of The Nerdery, and the web design community that you brought together on behalf of supporting nonprofits in Minnesota,” said U.S. Senator Al Franken after visiting The Challenge in 2011. “The great new websites that were built will multiply the positive impact these nonprofit organizations can have on the people they serve. The Nerdery truly helps make Minnesota the great state that it is.”
DAY(S) OF THE EVENT
Saturday, March 24, 9 a.m.: Countdown begins. Nonprofits meet their team of volunteers and get to work.
Sunday, March 25, 6-9 a.m.: Judges assess each team's work.
9 a.m.: Judges invite Final Four teams to present their nonprofit’s site.
10 a.m.: Winner announced. Good night, and good luck.
Where: U of M St. Paul Campus, Continuing Education Conference Center, 1890 Buford Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
Prior to the Challenge, representatives from the 18 selected nonprofits and volunteer teams gathered the evening of Monday, March 15 from 6-9 p.m. to prep for Overnight experience. Hosted by Benchmark Learning, the bulk of this mixer was a speed-dating exercise as volunteers made the rounds to visit reps from each nonprofit. Development teams and nonprofits were required to send at least one and as many as two representatives to the pre-Challenge mixer, and nonprofits are further required to send their “Decider” who’ll direct their TBD team the entire 24 hours (notwithstanding nap time). While teams won’t know which nonprofit they will work with until moments before the 24-hour countdown begins at 9 a.m. March 24, event organizers from The Nerdery asked volunteers to use the pre-Challenge mixer to get familiar with what the nonprofits are trying to accomplish though this rare opportunity. And while no team can choose which nonprofit its volunteers will serve, The Nerdery takes volunteer feedback on team skill-sets and nonprofit needs of into account in matchmaking.
In addition to pro bono services from interactive professionals, selected nonprofits are offered:
- Complimentary education in design and web applications, business analysis or project management from sponsor Benchmark Learning
- Complimentary web-hosting from sponsor VISI
In-kind sponsors: Arthouse; Bacio; Crave; Gyropolis; Peace Coffee; Pizza Luce’; Sopranos Kitchen; Zelo.
About The Nerdery
The Nerdery (www.nerdery.com) has offices in Minneapolis and Chicago where about 300 self-proclaimed nerds/web professionals partner with creative minds and big thinkers to envision and execute their interactive projects, including websites, mobile apps and social media. In 2010 and 2011, The Nerdery ranked #1 on the Best to Places Work list published by Mpls-St. Paul Business Journal. The Nerdery was honored in 2010 with The Quality of Life Award and The Jefferson Award for its record of corporate philanthropy through The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge. In addition to Biz Journal’s Fast 50 list, The Nerdery has made the Inc 5000 list of fast-growing privately owned companies for four consecutive years.
Office: (952) 948.1211 x1069
Cell: (612) 850.3178