How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. 
Anne Frank

Indeed your moment may be now, as volunteer registration is open for the first New England GiveCamp from June 11-13, 2010 at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD)!

How can I help?

When you go to register, you’ll see that you can contribute as a technical or as a non-technical volunteer.

Technical volunteers refer to developers, designers, project managers, and other roles that will be assigned to a team for a non-profit organization that has submitted a project to the GiveCamp.

Non-technical volunteers are those that want to lend a hand with logistics, registration, setting up meals, cleaning up, entertaining the masses, etc.

What is the time commitment?

GiveCamp begins on Friday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon.

If you are a technical volunteer, you’re a core part of a team focused on delivering a complete solution to the non-profit at the end of the event, so the expectation is you will be present all weekend (although you do not have to stay overnight on site).  If you’d still like to contribute your brain power, but have conflicts for part of the weekend, we welcome you to register as a non-technical volunteer and indicate on the registration form that you can provide ad hoc consulting for teams, do some training, etc.  If you have the passion, we’ll find a place.

For non-technical volunteers, the registration form offers some suggested shifts; feel free to sign up for one or for all!

Is this really a ‘camp’, like spend the night there?

If you want to, absolutely.  We will have plenty of cozy floor space at NERD, so bring a sleeping bag, air mattress, and your footies if you like.  There are shower facilities as well.

What kind of technical work will I be doing?

It will depend on the charity to which you’re assigned.  In most cases, the projects involve establishing a web presence or perhaps updating a static site to incorporate a calendar, membership lists, etc.   Many projects from other GiveCamps have involved using content management systems like WordPress and Sitefinity.
As much as possible volunteers will be matched to charities based on their technology proficiencies and the charity’s project needs, but for such an event, we ask that you be flexible.  The ultimate goal is providing a solution that the non-profit can operate and maintain long after the GiveCamp ends, so if, for instance, you’re a jQuery ninja, be open to storing those nunchucks away for the weekend.

What are the charities I’d be helping?

We have over two dozen charities that have submitted projects, and Marcia has done a great job outlining the types of work they do and the project help they are looking for.  We have a number of volunteers working now with the non-profit representatives to refine the project descriptions to ensure they are in the scope of what can be accomplished over a weekend of focused development.  Once all of the projects have been vetted and the non-profit organizations have committed themselves to being part of the weekend, we’ll make the charity names public.

Where can I get more information?

There’s a small bit of additional information on the volunteer page, but the bulk of the information to come will be posted to this blog (subscribe to the RSS feed).   Also, we encourage you to follow @NEGiveCamp on Twitter where we’ll post updates on registration and hopefully get a number of you in on the conversation and buzz as we get closer to the main event!  If you tweet about the event, please use #negc2010 as the hash tag.

And, of course, don’t hesitate to e-mail us with any questions you can’t find answered elsewhere.



One Response to “Calling All Volunteers!”

  1. Marcia says:

    We want Give Camp to be as inclusive as possible for all volunteers.

    That means two things in particular: mutual respect for both Microsoft and Open Source technologies and a welcoming environment for all, regardless of your level of extroversion.

    As Jim posted above, volunteers will be matched to projects ahead of time and not at the Friday evening orientation. We don’t want Give Camp to resemble a college mixer or a sorority/fraternity rush, like some weekend work events do.

    In other words, heads-down tech or social butterfly, we like you just the way you are!