Precision Dialogue Helps Local NPOs at Cleveland GiveCamp 2017
The mission of this weekend-long, volunteer-driven event is an important one: “pair creative and technology talent with nonprofits in need.” And this year, four Precision Dialogue team members donated their skills and expertise to help make good on that mission.
In short, GiveCamp excels at bringing together software developers, designers, database administrators, project managers and creative professionals to assist local non-profits in a variety of projects scoped to be completed during the GiveCamp weekend and often include:
- Data-collection applications to keep track of members or clients
- Websites to communicate with stakeholders and constituents
- Mobile phone applications
- Mobile websites
Here’s a closer look at Precision Dialogue’s contribution to GiveCamp 2017 through four unique experiences:
I was on the team rebuilding the Family Connections website. Family Connections is a Northeast Ohio-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening families with young children. They do this with various programs offering early literacy, parent support, and school readiness.
The original Family Connections website was dated, hard-to-maintain and hard-to-navigate. Over the course of the weekend, we transformed the website to be mobile-friendly, easier to navigate, easily editable and so much more.
We went from planning this project and defining goals on Friday evening to go-live by Sunday at noon! The Family Connections team worked closely with us during the process and was thrilled with the results.
My project at GiveCamp was setting up a database for Genesis House, a non-profit that helps domestic violence victims in Lorain County. They would like to push for more effective sentencing, but they need the data to back up their recommendations. A database will help them to find trends and also figure out what is effective in limiting repeat offenders.
I did the database design and worked with a young guy who’s still getting training at Tech Elevator to create all the tables, keys, and indexes. I also wrote views and queries to enable some of the reporting they want to do. There were two other gents on the team who handled project management, creating Access forms to enter data into the database, and report design.
In the PD spirit, I suggested we come up with an acronym for the project, and they came up with G-DATA: Genesis House Domestic Abuse Tracking and Analysis. Any time you can work “data” into an acronym for a database, you’ve already won.
As the project manager, I worked with the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) to create a new website for them. The project went fairly smooth, although their new website is not live because they have to get board approval first. The main needs were to condense copy, update design and make it more user-friendly. The client was extremely happy with the outcome and the overall design of the site.
As we all know, a new website design usually takes weeks to develop, with various stages from design, revisions, production (and more revisions). This was a very quick timeline, with lots of work to fit into one weekend. But that’s GiveCamp and everyone attending was there to do the most work possible in one weekend to make their non-profit’s goals happen.
In the end, it was rewarding to be able to share some of my project management skills to a group of people who truly appreciated what we were doing.
I assisted in refreshing the web presence of The Valentine Project, a non-profit that sends care packages to children whose lives are affected by cancer or a chronic illness. I served as site admin by managing hosting, DNS, loading the initial CMS and database and configuring email. I handled site security by configuring SSL and hardening user accounts
After six hours Friday night, just over 12 hours Saturday and about six more hours on Sunday, we had a working site complete with SSL, new email accounts and strong passwords – I was a stickler for security (which earned me some praise from teammates).
It was a great experience and I felt like I was able to really help out (even though it was all back-end and security stuff) by providing the non-profit a safe, reliable platform on which to build their new web presence.
Want to Participate in GiveCamp 2018?
Precision Dialogue couldn’t be more proud of Bill, Lauren, Kyle and Charles. We’re also grateful for GiveCamp’s contributions to non-profit organizations ꟷ locally and nationally ꟷ that are committed to lifting up our communities.