Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge becoming national day (and night and morning-after) of pro bono community service benefiting nonprofits

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Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge becoming national day (and night and morning-after) of pro bono community service benefiting nonprofits

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Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:30am

CAMPAIGN: Pro Bono Week 2013

CONTENT: Press Release

Minneapolis, October 31, 2013 /3BL Media/ - The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge will occur simultaneously in the three cities – Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis – in March 2014, to perform pro bono service for nonprofit organizations in those communities. The Nerdery has committed to doing its 24-hour hackathon in communities where its Nerds (Nerdery staff) live and work. Since 2008, more than $4 million in professional services have been donated to 114 nonprofits through The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge:

The Nerdery will also begin looking to partner with like-minded Nerds in other cities to bootstrap its Overnight Website Challenge initiative in their community – conceivably, anywhere there are good nonprofits with not-so-good websites, and interactive talent longing to serve. The Nerdery has established The Nerdery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to advance philanthropic initiatives like The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge.

For nonprofits and volunteer interactive pros hopeful to participate in the 2014 Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge events, registration will open in January 2014. Exact dates and venues will be announced soon.

Eligible nonprofits (501c3-registered organizations) can apply for the opportunity by articulating their vision of how nerds could further their mission through better use of interactive technology. After completing their application, nonprofits can direct their fans to post supporting testimonials to their online profiles; selection judges will favor nonprofits whose applications by its constituents, including people served by the organization, donors, volunteers, staff, board members and other supporters.  

Volunteer teams must self-organize with 8-10 web pros. Team captains recruit their peers and cover these skill sets: front-end development; back-end development; project management; strategy; user experience; graphic design; copywriting; quality assurance.

The Nerdery announces selected nonprofits and teams a few weeks before the Overnight event, but neither the needy nor the nerdy will know with whom they’ll be paired until the 24-hour countdown clock begins ticking at 9 a.m. on the first morning of the event.

In the final hours of an Overnight Web Challenge, an independent panel of judges representing the nonprofit and interactive communities begins assessing the work of development teams; this same panel of judges will have previously selected participating nonprofits from a larger pool of qualified applicants.

The People’s Choice award is a crowd-sourced vote via The Overnight Website Challenge Facebook page, where you’ll also find before/after screenshots, links to new websites and testimonials from web pros and nonprofit reps. Team scores in Design/UX, Functionality and Impact comprised three-fourths of the Best in Show Award, which also included one final important element: Launch.

In Web Challenge events previous to March 2013 in the Twin Cities, only one overall winning team has been recognized, and after weary finalists presented their work during the 25th hour. The Nerdery has since established a post-Challenge awards/judgment event and a much different endgame approach, as part of The Nerdery’s continuing effort to make their initiative the best possible experience for all involved. Post Overnight Website Challenge awards/judgment will be standard operating procedure from here forward, with a separate event 2-3 weeks after each all-nighter. Prizes remain the same: bragging rights, and the gratification of nerdy deeds done in the name of community service.

A couple weeks prior to an Overnight Website Challenge, The Nerdery will convene team captains and nonprofit leaders for an orientation that includes a speed-dating exercise between nerds and nonprofits for the purpose of making good matches between needy orgs and nerdy vols.


About The Nerdery (
During more normal working hours, The Nerdery is an interactive design and development company that partners with ad agencies and companies of all kind to engineer and execute their interactive projects, including websites, mobile and social media. With offices in Minneapolis, Chicago and Kansas City and voted by its staff onto multiple top workplace lists, The Nerdery is the professional home of 460+ web developers, UX designers, QA engineers and other Nerds. Founded by three programming pioneers in 2003, The Nerdery has made Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing private companies in its first six years of eligibility. At The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, a 24-hour community-service event, more than $4 million in professional web development services have been freely given to 114 nonprofit organizations in Illinois and Minnesota. For year-to-year job growth, The Nerdery was featured in Inc. Magazine’s December 2012 edition as Hire Power Award recipient. In 2013 The Nerdery won a BOLD Award from the Association for Corporate Growth for embracing a culture of distributed leadership, articulated by the late Luke Bucklin, Nerdery President and co-founder: “Put your business card on the desk in front of you...This card does not define you. You are a Co-President. You are bigger than your defined role...Play your part – transcend your job title, be a hero.” Watch Nerdery CEO Mike Derheim’s Ted Talk, titled “What if everyone at your company was a Co-President?


Mark Malmberg
+1 (612) 850-3178
The Nerdery
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CAMPAIGN: Pro Bono Week 2013

CONTENT: Press Release