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A dozen nonprofits and volunteer teams picked for 2012 Chicago Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, Nov 17-18

More than 100 web pros (nerds) commit to 24 hours of pro bono service

Chicago, October 29, 2012 – Opportunity knocks for 12 nonprofits who’ve earned the rare opportunity to lead a team of web professionals volunteering to spend 24 hours (in a row) helping them create better websites at The 2012 Chicago Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge during the weekend of November 17-18.

Eligible nonprofits (501c3-registered organizations in IL) applied by articulating their vision of how nerds could further their mission through better use of interactive technology. More than 61 nonprofits lined up for a shot at pro bono services. Nonprofits selected:
Volunteer teams self-organized with 8-10 web pros covering these skill sets: front-end development; back-end development; project management; strategy; UX; graphic design; copywriting; QA. Chosen teams are:
An independent panel of selection judges comprised of professionals from the nonprofit and interactive communities assessed applications from eligible Illinois nonprofits. At the end of the Overnight Website Challenge, bragging rights will be awarded to one development team by these same judges:
  • Alyque Ajani, tech director, Draftfcb
  • Randy Dill, founder and CEO, Chicago Nonprofit
  • Cynthia Putnam, professor, College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University
Pre-Challenge Mixer
Prior to the Challenge, representatives from the 12 selected nonprofits and volunteer teams will gather at The Nerdery on November 7 from 6-9 p.m. to prep for their Overnight experience. The bulk of this mixer is a speed-dating exercise as volunteers make the rounds to visit reps from each nonprofit. Development teams and nonprofits are 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. While teams won’t know which nonprofit they’ll work with until moments before the 24-hour countdown begins, event organizers from The Nerdery ask volunteers to use the pre-Challenge mixer to get familiar with what nonprofits hope 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.

Timeline, 2012 Chicago Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge
  • November 7: Needy-meets-nerdy pre-Challenge mixer, at The Nerdery’s Chicago office, 300 N Elizabeth St, Chicago
  • November 17-18: The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, at Roosevelt University, Congress Lounge, 4300 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago. This is not a function of Roosevelt University.
Event day(s)
  • Saturday, November 17, 9 a.m.: Countdown begins. Nonprofits meet their team of volunteers and get to work.
  • Sunday, November 18, 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.

At last year’s nerdathon, about 100 web developers and designers freely gave 10 nonprofits well over two-thousand hours of professional services.

The Nerdery Foundation thanks these sponsors of the 2012 Chicago Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge: Depaul College of Computing and Digital Media; Instant Technology.

The Nerdery Foundation
The Nerdery established The Nerdery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to advance philanthropic initiatives like The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, at which developers from The Nerdery and throughout the Chicago and Minneapolis interactive communities have donated more than $2.5 million in professional services to 84 Illinois-and-Minnesota-based nonprofits.

About The Nerdery
The Nerdery is a developer driven interactive production company that partners with creative minds and big thinkers to engineer and execute their interactive projects, including websites, mobile and social media. Voted by its staff onto multiple top workplace lists, The Nerdery has also made Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing private companies in its first five years of eligibility. With offices in Chicago and Minneapolis, The Nerdery is the professional home of more than 425 complete Nerds.
Overnight Website Challenge, nonprofit, philanthropy, Chicago

Media Contact

Mark Malmberg
Communications Director
Office: (952) 948.1211 x1069
Cell: (612) 850.3178

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