Community Hackathon

Hack for Western Mass is a community Hackathon, where area coders, designers and other digital creatives develop projects requested by local nonprofit agencies that could not otherwise afford the work.  In my second year, I joined the steering committee.  We used Drupal as our website, Asana for project management, and Google Apps for collaboration, along woth many other tools. 

The previous committee had experienced severe attrition due to burn-out, because a central committee took responsibility for soliciting and vetting all projects.  I proposed a community-based approeach, where each town would form a project development team months before the Hackathon, soliciting projects from CBOs known to volunteers and bringing well-articulated project descriptions to the Hackathon, complete with commitments for follow-up work by local hackers and agency representatives. 

This system was adopted with rave reviews.  Similar community Hackathons across the country learned of it and are adopting it for their own work.  Highlights are below.