Each summer at charity: water, we take two days away from work and team up on fun and intensive projects to bring exciting ideas to life. It’s a time for our staff to step out of their comfort zones (and desk zones), and spend a couple days looking at things from a fresh perspective with teammates they don’t usually get to spend enough time with. It’s the perfect place to bring an idea to life that you’ve always wanted to try out, but found that it never really aligned with your day-to-day work. And it creates an environment where ideas and innovation can thrive, where failure is seen as equally important as success, and where we can practice creative thinking while collaborating together.
Our third annual Hackathon took place last week and the days were filled with lots of sticky notes, snack breaks, and most of all, a whole bunch of great ideas.
And although not all of these ideas will live on, here’s what we hacked up:
Office Tour: Kids Edition
We created a fun and engaging experience for kids in the office where they get to collect stamps on their very own Passport as they complete activities around the office like going on a Water Walk, watching VR, writing on our #nothingiscrazy wall, pumping the well and more, all to unlock donations for clean water.
To establish a new way to reach our audiences with a focus on stories from the field, one team created charity: water’s very own podcast, charity: cast. They outlined future topics and themes and even recorded and produced the pilot episode featuring Robin Cho, one of our water programs officers, who is currently in Mozambique!
Power of 10 Timeline
With our 10th anniversary fast approaching, this Hackathon team created a timeline of charity: water’s biggest milestones over the past 10 years including stories, events, projects, campaigns, and trips to the field. As an added bonus, they also created “An Evolution of Scott’ timeline showcasing Scott’s biggest moments since the beginning of charity: water.
Supporters Starter Pack
In an effort to support those who are getting the word out about charity: water, running campaigns, and donating, we created a Supporters Starter Pack both for kids and adults filled with goodies such as informational decks, reference sheets with facts and figures, inspirational videos, pictures, and activities to help them spread the charity: water story to their communities.
Utilizing our Data Platform
As an organization that heavily relies on data, one team explored different ways we can use our data to make our work more productive and efficient. This included generating donor profile dashboards with insights into their cumulative giving and donating habits.
The Spring Mobile App
As we continue to work on making the experience for our monthly donors better, this Hackathon team brainstormed what it would look like to have a mobile app featuring a feed with updates from the field, a profile highlighting your personal impact, a map to see the status of projects in the field, an area to interact with other monthly donors in your community, and more.
A Healthy, Green, and Productive Office
Healthy people make for a healthy team. One team came up with ways that we can promote each other’s health with office yoga, running or biking as a team, keeping our office green, and friendly weekly competitions with staff metrics to keep us going. They also brainstormed methods to make our team more productive including meditation and individual meeting caps.
Unlocking Matching Funds
Major donors and brands love to give in a way that maximizes their impact. This Hackathon team brainstormed how we can use matching funds to get more subscriptions, activate campaigns, and increase referrals. They created a coupon page to catch potential donors before they abandon our website with matching incentives to stick around.
The Collective: A Volunteer Club
We created a pilot brand ambassador program in five key cities that builds awareness, boosts our revenue streams, and creates new communities of volunteers and supporters across the country. This program is anchored in unlocking a series of badges tied to specific challenges that unlock key resources and perks.
VR Landing Page
This Hackathon team designed and built a VR site that features the amazing work charity: water is doing with virtual reality. It shares not only our VR film “The Source,” but also behind the scenes photos and videos, how-it’s-done, write-ups, extras, and more.
And one team went a little rogue. They wanted to tackle the problem of centralizing all our online products via a unified supporter portal. Needless to say, they bit off a little more than they could hack. So instead, they decided to merge all the account settings and hard code a really simple logged in state for our supporters.
And of course, documenting all the fun on Snapchat!
(Photos courtesy of Sam Dornfest and Cubby Graham)