On Thursday May 19, Zillow hosted the first ever #SeaTech4Change tech volunteer fair. I had the idea for this event after observing how so many local nonprofits have such scarce budgets for technology, design and marketing work — coupled with large needs for help in these areas. And, when I get on my frequent soap box about the responsibility and opportunity for the tech community to help drive social good, the obvious question I get asked is: How?
So the idea behind the tech volunteer fair was to make connections between the local nonprofit and tech communities, in order to create skill-based volunteering opportunities where they are needed most.
To say I was moved by the event would be an understatement. While the idea was exciting, nothing could have prepared me for the incredible energy in the room that evening. There was a great turnout of local developers, designers and marketers who genuinely wanted to better their community. Add to that a fantastic representation of nonprofits from across different focus areas, who spend every day making our community better, and who were eager to get help with specific tech projects. I saw many meaningful connections being made, and heard so much enthusiasm from both sides.
The tech volunteer fair was of course just the first step in getting these important projects completed. Now the nonprofits are coordinating with the volunteers they met to kick off the work they plan to do together. I asked everyone to share their progress via the #SeaTechForChange hashtag on Twitter, and am excited to follow along with their accomplishments.
Photos from the event, links to articles and organizations and the opportunity for nonprofits and volunteers to sign up for future events, can all be found at seatech4change.org. I would love to keep the momentum from #SeaTech4Change going, as I feel strongly that the Seattle tech community can make a large and lasting impact on the issues that so many nonprofits are tackling everyday.