Thursday, May 30, 2013

Welcome to Hacker #5

After another break in announcements (mainly because Chackers seem to be very shy about sending bios!) I'm delighted to announce the 6th member of our team Diamaid O'Sullivan. Bio below but no photo because he's shy

Diarmaid O’Sullivan works in the interface between policy, research, advocacy and lobbying. He has worked in the community development sector with Ballyfermot Partnership and in the disability sector with Rehab Ireland. For the last four years Diarmaid has helped design and run national online and offline advocacy campaigns for Older & Bolder and will soon take up an advocacy and policy position with Oxfam Ireland.

Diarmaid is passionate about fostering people power to positively influence social change. He has a track record in developing effective campaigns that engage grassroots activists, politicians and the media.

Diarmaid is very enthused about being involved with #CharityHack can be found on Twitter as @diarmaidy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

And so the hard work begins

Like any new project, it was pretty easy to get Charity Hack started. Come up with the idea. Fine tune it by bouncing it off a few trusted friends. Set up this blog to explain it. Go on Twitter, Facebook etc to promote the ass off it. Job Done.

Except that's just the start. Initially I thought it would be amazing to get 5 charities applying to be part of Charity Hack and I'd be quite happy if only one group filled out the form. I was ready to go 'door to door' metaphorically and contact individual charities I know to ask them to come along on the day. Amazingly and thankfully that wasn't necessary. We had almost 30 Charity Hack registrations. That's amazing.

It's also a little bit worrying.

Charity Hack didn't cross the radar of even a fraction of the charities in Ireland. Most are too busy struggling to get through their day raising enough money (or not enough in a lot of cases) to keep their cause above water and hope that tomorrow is a better day. I worry about those. Not the ones who saw Charity Hack and thought it wasn't for them or that they didn't need it but for the organizations that are really struggling and are staring at fork in the road and don't know which way to turn. Could Charity Hack have helped them all? No it couldn't. We can only take 5 organizations on the 10th August. Maybe we can organize a second one and a third... But even then we'd struggle to even make the beginnings of a scratch on the problems out there.

This country is so full of amazing people, with huge hearts, who give so much for their causes and passions. They are working in charities, volunteering with sports clubs, shaking buckets, training our children, looking after our sick, protecting our environment. They stand up for what is right and for what they believe matters in the world. And, it doesn't matter whether we agree with their cause or not. Our country is better because people give of themselves for what they care about.

Where would we be without them? I hope we never find out.

So almost 30 organizations came across Charity Hack and thought that it could do something for them. They should be applauded, big or small, new or old, we can all benefit from a fresh set of eyes looking at our problems. Recognizing that we need a helping hand is a huge first step towards improving our future and hopefully for the organizations who take part in Charity Hack they're going to get the helping hand they need.

Right now we're reading through the application and trying to shortlist the successful organizations. This is not going to be easy and is sure to cause fights between the selectors.

They are all amazing organizations with incredible people doing just those things I've talked about above. They are struggling against the challenges they face to make our world a better place. To steal and edit from Whitman: As this powerful play goes on they are contributing their own verse.

Whether that final play is a tragedy or epic triumph is up to us.

Unfortunately though for Charity Hack we will only be able to select 5 organizations. I would dearly love to have all the applicants but space and the need for at least 5 Chackers for each organization makes it impossible this time.

I'm not giving up though.

If the 10th August is a success, who knows what the future holds and maybe, just maybe, Charity Hack can have it's own comma in the Play.


oh and if you want to know what the poem I'm butchered a line from was here you go

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Registrations are closed

Well after 2 weeks of relentless posting, sharing and hassling the registration for organizations to be part of Charity Hack has closed. 

28 Organisations took the brave step to come forward and take part in the Hack. 5 of these will be selected and will have the opportunity to take part in Charity Hack, the 12 hours that could just change the direction of their organization. 

It's going to take a week or so to shortlist the organizations and make contact with them but we are still taking applications for volunteer hackers.

In the meantime. For all your support, trust and faith in Charity Hack. I want to say...


Phase 1 of Charity Hack almost complete

Registrations close at 7pm today.

The response we've had so far has been amazing. Over 2000 people have read this blog. Nearly every tweet has been favourited and retweeted. I've had lots of people contacting me offering advice and help for all of which I am extremely grateful.

At 7pm the first phase ends. Registration will close for organisations to be Hacked. It's not too late for you to get in you have 19 hours.

Once registration closes the exciting and daunting task of shortlisting the successful organisations will take place and the recruitment of Hackers will step up a gear. 

I can't tell you how excited I am to see how this idea has grown into a reality. A mega thank you for all your faith.

Until after phase 1


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Welcome to Hacker # 4

So the first of our non fundraising expert hackers Andrew Moran. Andy is an expert on French electro pop, a good cook and Lego fanatic. He's also a mega competent project manager in the online marketing world

Check out his bio

Andrew Moran comes from a background of online marketing and consulting. He has worked with some of the worlds top brands on national and global campaigns, including Burberry, O2, American Express and McDonalds. His current role is to advise both agencies and clients on effective Social Media strategy and implementation. Andrew works for Facebook, but has previously worked managing digital development for McConnell's, Ireland's oldest advertising agency. Prior to this, Andrew worked for Accenture Consulting.

And the uber casual photo

Is this the best Charity video ever?

I'm a big fan of how Charity Water communicate with their supporters. There's a great honesty and directness about them.

I think this is one of the best campaign videos I've seen. Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

3 Days Left...

Ok so you're forgiven. You haven't seen non stop barrage of Tweets, Facebook, Google+ and Blog posts going on and on about Charity Hack. These things happen, I understand.

It's not too late for you to join the party but you have to act quick.

The mega abridged version is this:
If you are a non profit that needs help fundraising you can apply to take part in a 12 hour Charity Hack where a team of experts will work with you to develop a brand new campaign in one day for FREE. 5 organizations will be chosen for Charity Hack and the closing date is this Friday 24th May @ 7pm.

Registration and detailed info is at the top of this blog. Lots of organizations have already applied so don't miss your chance.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome to Hacker #3

After a break of a few days in the Chacker announcements it is my great delight to announce a 3rd member of the Charity Hack team.

Denisa Casement CFRE (certified fund raising executive in case you were wondering)

Anybody who follows Denisa on Twitter on Linkedin knows all about her passion for fundraising and dedication to her craft. Such is her dedication that she has recently been shortlisted for the Fundraising Ireland Professional Fundraiser of the Year!! and she's letting you have her talents for 12 whole hours free of charge. Charity Hack is amazing

Here's Denisa's bio 

Denisa has been in fundraising for 16 years. Before moving to Dublin to start a fundraising programme for Merchants Quay Ireland she lived in sunny Arizona. She was Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity Tucson and then for Ronald McDonald House Charities in both Tucson and Phoenix. She then spent over 4 years as an Account Manager with a telephone fundraising agency. She learned the nuts & bolts of direct marketing and managed campaigns for over 30 charities from New York to Dallas to Los Angeles. She can often be heard saying..."What was the response rate?" and "I don't just want a donation...I want a donor, for life." She tweets about fundraising & kittens @DenisaCasement

and a pretty picture (should we start rating the pictures of the Chackers?)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Last 5 days to register for Charity Hack

In only 5 days the opportunity for your organisation to take part in Charity Hack will close. This is an amazing chance for small charities to get a new fundraising campaign created for them in just 12 hours. We are assembling an amazing team of Hackers who are primed and ready to put their skills at your disposal. Register now before its too late.

Click on the tab at the top of the page.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

9 days left to register for Charity Hack - Need some Inspiration?

I thought some people might be sitting looking at the registration form and need an extra bit of motivation to get started, fill it out and sign up for Charity Hack.

So enjoy this video

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Welcome to Hacker #2

The second hacker that it is my great pleasure to announce is probably the most energetic and passionate fundraiser in Ireland, Justin McDermott.

I've had the exhausting pleasure of working with Justin and really if there was anybody born to be part of Charity Hack he's the man:

Here's his bio

Justin has been working in Fundraising for 11 years.  He was Fundraising &
Communications Coordinator with COPE Galway for 8 years,  then became Community
Fundraiser for Ulster Connaught at the Irish Cancer Society, a role he had for just under
3 years.  He is currently Fundraising Manager for the youth mental health service
Jigsaw Galway / Roscommon.  He is involved in sectoral development regionally and is
currently chair of Fundraising Irelands Western Branch.   Aswell as his
professional fundraising experience he has lectured with Irish Academy of PR in their
GMIT campus & worked for a year in New Zealand as a Senior Communications Advisor
to the Minister of Fisheries of New Zealand. 

and a photo that isn't quite as cute as Simon's 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Welcome to Hacker #1

Delighted to announce the first of our Chackers, Simon Scriver. Simon has been helping out with the planning of Charity Hack from the very start and I'm hugely grateful for his advice and support so far. Simon brings a huge amount of experience and talent to Charity Hack.

Here's his bio 

Simon Scriver is Director of Total Fundraising, a service provider to the not-for-profit sector responsible for the recruitment of around 40,000 new regular donors each year. Simon has 7 years experience in fundraising, as well as several years experience in both Sales and Finance, and currently works with some of the biggest and smallest charities throughout the island of Ireland. He has set up a successful Telephone Fundraising department and has worked to open on-line fundraising to the smallest of organisations through the website Simon is continually looking at developing new and improving existing avenues of fundraising, helping charities to build their donor base and maximise the potential of their existing donors. Simon can be found on Twitter as @TotalFR.

and a pretty picture

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's behind the blue door? #charityhack

Yes, it is behind this beautiful door (the most photographed in Dublin) that Charity Hack will take place on 10th August.
Number 58 Merrion Square, O'Connell House is the home of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre and the former home of The Liberator, Daniel O'Connell.
The 'OC' have kindly agreed to host Charity Hack in this beautiful building and I'm sure the sure the stunning surroundings will help to inspire us all.

You can check out O'Connell House here

Thanks guys


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Charity Hack in short

Charity Hack will bring together organizations that need help with fundraising campaigns with a team of experienced fundraisers, marketeers, advertising people etc and over 12 hours they'll work together to create a brand new fundraising campaign.

Charity Hack is taking place on 10th August 2013

Charity Hack is free for organizations to take part in

Charity Hack is being coordinated and run completely by volunteers.

If your organization needs to raise money whether you are a charity, arts org, sports club or any other non profit and you'd like to be hacked, Go Here

and while you're thinking about it watch this video it always motivates me


Great support from the sector for Charity Hack

I've really appreciated the articles published in support of Charity Hack this week by Fundraising Ireland and Howard Lake's UK Fundraising

Fundraising Ireland
Free fundraising expertise for your organization.

UK Fundraising
Charity Hack offers to produce free fundraising campaigns in 12 hours

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Charity Hack is a reality

Well only one day since registrations have opened and we've already got organizations filling out the form and people volunteering to take part as Chackers (this name isn't going to stick is it?).

It's really amazing that people are excited by the idea of just coming together, working hard and creating something new for awesome charities.

Can we really pull this off?

Can we really get groups of talented strangers to work together as a perfect team and deliver in 12 hours?

Can this make a huge difference to charities and organizations that need help?

Can we show the goodness of people and their willingness to give of themselves?

Of course we can.

If not You, who? If not Now, when?


Friday, May 03, 2013

Charity Hack Registration is OPEN!!

So today is the day. 

Registration for Charity Hack is now open and will remain open until the 24th May.

Charity Hack is open to all charities, non-profits, arts and sports organizations etc. that are willing to commit to a 12 hour hack to create a brand new campaign for them to roll out.

We've put the focus on fundraising campaigns but if you have a different type of problem register and we will definitely consider it.

(point of observation: lots of people are focussing on the Charity Hack creating online or social media solutions and that may well be the result but we are just as likely to create a traditional fundraising campaign that is tried and trusted, its about whatever suits the organization and the problem)

Over the next few weeks I'll be announcing who is on our team of Chackers (charity hackers) and will release more info about the date of the Charity Hack and the location (but it will be in Dublin this August)

I'm mega excited that so many people have visited this blog, shared the tweets and expressed an interest in Charity Hack. If you have any questions, would like to volunteer to be a Chacker or just want to make an observation you can post in the comments below or email me on

So there's nothing left to do except click on the link and Register

Register for Charity Hack


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Charity Hack explained

Charity Hack is an amazing opportunity for your organization to tap into a huge amount of experience, talent and expertise and leave with a fully fledged fundraising campaign made to suit your organization.

(Short explanation: A Hack is just a fancy name for a marathon or blitz. Basically, it brings together a group of people (hackers) to work for a concentrated period of time, on one specific problem, with the aim of finding a solution by the end of that designated time. Hacks are common in the computer industry with companies like Facebook using them regularly to work on new ideas)

We will take a number of charities who have identified specific challenges, problems or campaigns that they need help with. We will partner them with a team of expert Hackers (fundraisers, marketers, designers, what ever experts we need) and over the 12 hours of the Hack will produce exciting solutions that can be put into action straight away. We will also assign you with a lead Hacker who will follow up with you in the weeks after the Hack.

All our Hackers are donating their time free of charge. All charities are expected to enter the Hack with an open mind and a willingness to implement the solutions that we develop together. We don't want to put all this work into creating a great campaign only to hear that the Board wouldn't approve it afterwards!

Well nobody has asked any questions yet but I'm guessing

When is Charity Hack? Charity Hack will take place on Saturday 10th August in a Dublin location.

Who can apply? Any charity, non profit organisation, sports clubs, schools etc that needs to come up with a fundraising campaign

How many orgs will be Hacked? It depends, 4-5, the scale of the challenges and the type of orgs that apply will dictate. We've never done this before so there are lots if unknowns.

How much does it cost? Nothing. Charity Hack is free to apply for, free to participate in and free to talk about. The only investment you'll need to make is in whatever campaign we create and you get to set the budget before we start.

I'm sure you'll have more questions so stick them in the comment section.

Thanks for reading, now go register at the top of this blog.