For the past five years, members of our team have joined more than 200 volunteers at Cleveland GiveCamp. Cleveland GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, database administrators, project managers and creative professionals donate their time to create software and web-based applications for nonprofit organizations across Northeast Ohio. The event takes place at the LeanDog Boat and Burke Lakefront Airport on the shores of Lake Erie.
There are a variety of projects completed during GiveCamp weekend, including mobile phone applications, mobile-friendly websites, data-collection applications to keep track of members or clients, and more. The event is entirely volunteer-driven and is a great opportunity for people to work together, develop new friendships, and do something important for the community.
This year, the event took place July 20-22nd, and three of our team members assisted with projects that will help over 20 nonprofits in Cleveland.
Learn more about our experience at Cleveland GiveCamp 2018:
Ross Ritchey’s Fifth Year
Ross’ fifth year at Cleveland GiveCamp started earlier than many other volunteers. A month prior to the event, Ross started working with the project managers of four groups to make sure that project scopes were realistic for the weekend while still fulfilling the needs of the nonprofit. As a “floater”, Ross moved from group to group to put out fires on all teams and stepped in when needed to smooth things over.
Here are few key things Ross worked on this year at Cleveland GiveCamp:
- Integrated Eventbrite into WordPress for 3 groups
- Built out custom functionality for an internal volunteer time tracking system
- Built a searchable document repository in WordPress
- Troubleshot hosting issues and set up development sites
- Helped less experienced volunteers by showing them how to do critical WordPress tasks, like build a child-theme
- Helped to clean up and secure finished websites
“Cleveland GiveCamp was extremely successful this year. Many teams finished their projects Saturday afternoon, and the closing ceremony was moved up 45 minutes because everyone was finished more than an hour early. It was great to be back at such an exciting event, and we are proud to have been a Gold Sponsor to help so many worthy nonprofits!” – Ross Ritchey, Senior Application Engineer, World Synergy
Sean Shea’s Fourth Year
For his fourth year at Cleveland GiveCamp, Sean worked with a team that set out to create a responsive, multilingual WordPress website for Lake County Free Clinic. Headquartered in Painesville, Ohio, Lake County Free Clinic is the only provider of free medical and dental care to uninsured and underinsured Northeast Ohio residents.
During GiveCamp weekend, Sean’s team had a goal to first revise the content on the old site and consolidate it. Next, they took the consolidated information and gave the website a refresh, which made it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to navigate. Finally, the team worked to create a multilingual WordPress site to accommodate Spanish-speaking users.
“The most important thing that went into this project was teamwork. A lot of the groups are filled with people who are fresh out of college/boot camps or have never worked with the platform we’re working on. But that doesn’t seem to matter, because everyone is just focused on helping the nonprofits. Everyone jumps right in and starts building. If they run out of work, they find another team that needs help. It’s amazing to live in a city that hosts the largest GiveCamp in the country, as well as work for a company that knows the importance of helping sponsor these kinds of events.” – Sean Shea, Junior Developer, World Synergy
Shelbey Surgent’s First Year
During her first year at Cleveland GiveCamp, Shelbey worked on a team that set out to create a new WordPress website for Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – Solon Chapter. The nonprofit based in Solon, Ohio, offers support and encouragement to those living with mood disorders and the people who love and care for them.
At GiveCamp weekend, the goal of Shelbey’s team was to take the nonprofit’s outdated website and create a mobile-friendly responsive WordPress site with brand new functionality, content, and design. Since the previous website was not WordPress, her team did a WordPress install and started from scratch. As a responsive website, users can enjoy an online experience from any platform; whether it’s their desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.
As the designer for the team, Shelbey was able to create a design that worked well with the theme her team selected. The DBSA – Solon Chapter holds bi-monthly support group meetings, so an updated calendar functionality was the nonprofits number one goal. They were able to accomplish this and display upcoming events in three different locations on their website. Additionally, the team added a ‘Donate’ button on each page as a crucial feature for funding purposes. The board of the DBSA – Solon Chapter is hopeful that with the updated website, they will be able to apply for more grants to help fund and grow the nonprofit.
“It was extremely rewarding to see the hundreds of developers, designers, project managers, etc. all come together for a great cause. Volunteers were very flexible about working on multiple teams, helping any way they could. I’m already exploring the idea of participating in Pittsburgh’s GiveCamp in September.” – Shelbey Surgent, Graphic Designer, World Synergy
Thank you Cleveland GiveCamp and all volunteers for another successful year! World Synergy is proud to be Gold Sponsors for such a great cause.