Skip navigation

Category Archives: Hack Days

During 2012/13 TheGivingLab ran a series of hack weekends in collaboration with Microsoft, Google Campus, General Assembly and others to test  whether they might be a vehicle for incubating new ways to generate income for UK charities.

Find out what they cost here and how to make them a success here.

Image

Hack events bring together generous and smart people with skills in coding, digital design and entrepreneurial thinking to create innovative solutions to charity problems, including new income streams or ways of fundraising.

Click here to get a flavour of some of the ideas generated.

HACK EVENTS CREATE ORIGINAL IDEAS

We wanted to see if the ideas created added something different to the charity market, so we asked several major and mid scale charities to assess 10 of the prototypes created. We wanted them to rate the ideas for originality (we wouldn’t have produced this), relevance to them (does it solve a problem they have) and commercial scale of impact (would it make a difference).

To our delight – ALL ideas were rated highly creative and surprisingly each charity focused on one or two ideas relevant to them and each charity made DIFFERENT selections. All charities found 1-3 projects commercially viable for them.

SHOULD MY CHARITY RUN A HACK EVENT?

There are 3 quick questions you need to ask:

  • Why are you doing it?
  • Where does it fit into your business process?
  • What’s the cost vs what’s the benefit?

Hack events aren’t a cheap replacement for your fundraising and digital teams.

What they do deliver is a diversity of thinking, ideas and energy. That’s valuable. Hack communities are great at seeing things differently, they can help think about reaching new audiences, innovative products and different ways of delivering your services – and they love tech.

But your charity still needs a plan for taking great ideas to market and a financial model that makes sense. Also you need to be clear about the terms of engagement – do teams keep the rights in their ideas (especially revenue generating ones), do you want to develop ideas generated in-house or collaboratively with the creators?

If your charity is thinking about running hack events and you’d like some help, drop us a line: change@thegivinglab.org

During 2012/13 TheGivingLab ran a series of hack weekends in collaboration with Microsoft, Google Campus, General Assembly and others to test  whether they might be a vehicle for incubating new ways to generate income for UK charities.

You can find out what kind of ideas were generated here and what we learnt here.

But here’s what it cost and what it generated.

Image

If your charity is thinking about running hack events and you’d like some help, drop us a line: change@thegivinglab.org

Image

During 2012/13 TheGivingLab ran a series of hack weekends in collaboration with Microsoft, Google Campus, General Assembly and others to test  whether they might be a vehicle for incubating new ways to generate income for UK charities.

Thanks to the over 300+ fun, intelligent and generous people who turned up with great ideas, bags of passion and some serious code and design skills. Find out what kind of ideas were generated here and how much it cost here.

Here’s our 6 top learnings:

  • Build a community/ eco-system – Some of our winning ideas came from participants who’d been to several events, slowly building their skills and team so be honest, consistent and open if you want people to come back.
  • Get a mix of skills in the room – to create viable market ready ideas you need a mix of skillsets; developer, entrepreneur, designer.  Events without one or the other generated lots of ideas, but not ideas with a revenue or business model.
  • Create teams with a mix of skills – Badging people with their skills and insisting every group has to be mixed is vital. Mixed teams generated the most viable business ideas.
  • Expert mentors accelerate good ideas – Mentors who created and run digital businesses mentored the women of the GeekGirlMeetUp and the ideas that came from that event were the most market ready. Each had a sense of who the product was for, how they would take to market and a business model.
  • Build the possible, don’t half finish the amazing  – giving participants a clear sense of what was possible to build in 48 hours and helping them focus their ideas is vital (expert feedback on ideas at the end of day 1 helps focus on the most critical elements of the plan and prototype too).
  • Have a path to market – great prototypes can remain just that. There’s a tough slog to get ideas to market. If your charity is thinking of organising a hack event you need to plan the route from hack event to the consumer. Will your organisation use the ideas as inspiration, will you pay for the winning team(s) to come work for you, will you back the development of the project stage by stage like a dragon from the den? Is your charity set up to manage the development and launch of new products. The hack weekend is the fun bit, but the valuable bit is when it starts generating money from the public for good causes.

If your charity is thinking about running a hack event and you’d like some help, drop us a line: change@thegivinglab.org