Until now, helping out a local nonprofit on a digital project has been an uphill battle: technologists, designers, data gurus, digital marketers, hackers, and product folks have had to carry the weight of scoping, translation, product management, and navigating an organization’s technical debt just to begin volunteering.
The Delta.NYC prototype is solving for this challenge.
Civic Hall Labs recruits and scopes projects with a variety of vetted NYC nonprofits. Last year, 60 Digital professionals were selected to tackle these opportunities over the course of a four week sprint. Volunteers self-selected based on their skills, availability and interests to complete a pro bono project identified by the partner nonprofit.
Delta.NYC goes beyond just pro bono work: technologists work together. Folks collaborate with peer professionals in the program, including and beyond their project team, to strategize, process, socialize and expand their knowledge of relevant issues around tech and its impact on society. View last year's program structure below.
Timeline & Important Dates
The program started with a kick-off and happy hour on November 15th where team members were briefed on the projects at hand and project managers sketched out the road map for the following four weeks. Teams had access to Civic Hall to work on their projects at optional twice weekly after-work sessions, and the Delta.NYC staff supported them in strategizing, executing, and trouble shooting.
- Oct 13th: Volunteer Applications Open
- Nov 2nd: Application Deadline
- Nov 4th: Volunteers Notified of Acceptance
- Nov 9th: Volunteers self-select onto projects
- Nov 15th: Delta.NYC Program Kick-Off Event at Civic Hall
- Week of November 28th: Leadership Development Workshop*
- Week of December 5th: Panel/Presentation*
- December 16th: Delta.NYC Program Conclusion and Project Presentation at Civic Hall
*All participants were required to attend one of two Tech and Society Salons hosted at Civic Hall, but were welcome to attend both.
By signing up for Delta.NYC, technologists signed up to complete the Delta.NYC program with a small cohort of their peers. Participants' level of commitment varied depending on the project they selected. Some projects required as little as a few hours of work over the four week program, while others required more of an investment. We calculated the projected commitment and left that decision up to participants. The minimum program requirements included:
- Complete one pre-scoped project for a nonprofit;
- Attend the kick-off event on November 15th hosted at Civic Hall;
- Attend 1 out of 2 Tech & Society salons hosted at Civic Hall;
- Attend the Program Conclusion and Project Presentation Event on December 16th hosted at Civic Hall; and
- Complete exit interview and survey.
Participants were able to self-select into teams and get to know everyone in the program through work sessions, happy hours, and skills-share discussions. We accepted applications from a range of digital professionals based in New York City. The skills we were looking for included some of the following:
- Back-End Development
- Business Analysis
- Content Strategist
- CRM & Email Systems
- Digital Campaigning
- Digital Marketing & Sales
- Digital Media
- Digital Strategy
- Front-End Development
- ios/Android Development
- IT Systems Management
- Online Marketing
- Product Management
- Project Management
- Social Media & Communications Strategy
- Website & Microsite Creation
Delta.NYC aims to bridge the digital divide by leveraging tech industry talent to bring professional technology services to nonprofits looking to further their missions. In doing so, we were experimenting and learning about how to best support an ecosystem of pro bono tech. As a member of the Delta.NYC pilot, participants not only meaningfully impacted the work of their nonprofit partners, they directly influenced the development of the pro bono tech space.
All nonprofits came to the table with clear impact goals. Projects impacted nonprofits in one or more of the following areas:
- Increased efficiency and staff capacity
- Reached more supports and raised more money
- Expanded program capacity to serve more people
Our Commitment to Participants
Our team is committed to making the most of participants' time with us, with their nonprofits, and with one another. Every step of the way, technologists are more than just participants in this program. They are helping to pioneer a new approach to pro bono practices within and across the technology sector.