18 MN Nonprofits To Get Free Websites From The Nerdery

The Nerdery and volunteer Web professionals have already donated $4 million worth of free web-development services to nonprofits since the program began in 2008

Twin Cities Business magazine, by Kevin Mahoney

The Nerdery is preparing for another “Overnight Web Site Challenge”—a program through which the company and volunteers build free websites for nonprofit organizations within a 24-hour period.

The Bloomington-based Web development firm announced Wednesday the 30 nonprofits throughout the Twin Cities, Chicago, and now Kansas City, that were chosen to receive “game-changing websites” pro-bono. The challenge came to Illinois in 2011 and for the first time has expanded to Missouri this year.

According to the Nerdery, the normal billing rate for the services of its “nerds” for 24 hours tends to be unaffordable for many nonprofits. Since 2008, the firm said the overnight challenge has donated more than $4 million in services to 114 nonprofits in Illinois and Minnesota.

This year, 18 nonprofits will receive Web help by 18 teams in the Twin Cities, eight nonprofits will receive help from eight teams in Chicago, and four nonprofits will receive help by four teams in Kansas City. The Nerdery has 400 employees in the Twin Cities, 40 in Chicago, and 20 in Kansas City.

The nonprofits selected in Minnesota include Dakota City Heritage Village, Dispute Resolution Center, Dragon Divas, Everybody Wins, Free Bikes 4 Kidz, Fresh Air KFAI, Home For Life, Metro Blooms, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Upper Midwest Region, Minnesota Astronomical Society, Minnesota Boxer Rescue, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, MVNA, North Metro Pediatrics, Quatrefoil Library, Sexual Violence Center, Venture Academy, and Women Of Nations.

According to the Nerdery, eligible nonprofits applied for the opportunity by “articulating their vision of how nerds could further their organization’s mission through better use of interactive technology.”

The teams are equipped with skills to build a website, including front-end development, back-end development, project management, digital/content strategy, user experience design, graphic design, and quality assurance engineering.

As an extra twist, neither the nonprofits nor the teams know who they’ll be paired with until the 24-hour countdown begins at 9 a.m. on April 12.

On the following Sunday, during the final few hours of the challenge, an independent panel of judges will begin assessing the work of the development teams. “Web Challenge Awards” are then given out to the top teams later in April, recognizing skills in different categories like functionality, impact, and “Best in Show.”