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Nerds Pay It Forward: Nonprofits To Get Free IT Work At Ann Arbor GiveCamp

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Ann Arbor's 2009 Give Camp. Photo courtesy Ann Arbor Give Camp.

Ann Arbor’s 2009 Give Camp. Photo courtesy Ann Arbor Give Camp.

mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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For many small nonprofit organizations, there just isn’t money in the budget for a high quality Web site. Others are desperate for custom designed applications to make their work easier. Right now nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to apply for the help they need and receive that help for free through Ann Arbor GiveCamp.

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. The events take place annually in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

The 2011 Ann Arbor GiveCamp takes place Sept. 16-18 at Washtenaw Community College.

Dozens of volunteers — geeks giving back, they like to say — will be hunkered down over computer monitors nearly around the clock that weekend working with representatives from the nonprofit groups chosen. The proposed project had to be something that could be completed in a weekend. At the end of the weekend the completed web site or application is turned over to the charities who maintain it themselves afterwards.

“Last year we helped 13 organizations from Detroit to Flint,” said GiveCamp organizer Michael Eaton. “They included a senior center, a diaper bank, an international aid organization and several community and environmental groups. It is always a rush to see what can be accomplished during a very intense weekend with a lot of amazing volunteers.”

Many volunteers actually camp out for the weekend. Food, drinks and plenty of caffeine are supplied.

Nonprofit organizations can apply at http://annarborgivecamp.org/Charity. They will be contacted by a representative of GiveCamp once submissions are closed to discuss their application. Application deadline is Aug. 15.

Volunteers are also needed for the effort. Software developers, designers, and database administrators who want to use their talents to help area charities can apply at http://annarborgivecamp.org/Volunteer.

Washtenaw Community College donated space for the event. Major sponsors included Microsoft Corp. and Pepsi.

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