Who is Bret?
Bret Phillips is a Digital Strategist at WebDevStudios, where he works with clients at the beginning of their project to establish a vision for their website, ensuring that the site they build will achieve the client’s core business goals. Bret’s knowledge about building solid websites starts at the very beginning of the process at his day job, but it doesn’t stop there. He also knows the ins and outs of how to make a website work from strategy and planning all the way through to technical execution, which is where he focuses his help for 48in48 today.
What does Bret do for 48in48?
Bret says, “I’ve always been behind the scenes” at 48in48. When his soon-to-be coworkers Aaron Reimann and Adam Walker (Co-Founder of 48in48) asked him to come help out at the very first 48in48 weekend website event in 2015, Bret immediately said yes. He showed up thinking he would be building one Nonprofit website with a small team; instead, they threw him a “Staff” T-shirt to put on, and put him to work supporting all teams and tracking the build status of all websites. Despite the process being nowhere near as baked and formal as it is now (i.e., there was no process because it was the first event), they successfully ran the event, resulting in 48 new Nonprofit websites for 48 Nonprofits in 48 hours. 48in48 was suddenly a very real organization, and Bret was hooked from that point forward. He has volunteered in various capacities over the past six years, often in a Tech Support role – both onsite at the various events and post-event with the Nonprofits. He currently serves as Tier 1 Support for the Nonprofits and their websites as well as for the 48in48 team and the main 48in48 website.
How does Technical Support work for the Nonprofits?
Each Nonprofit who is accepted into the 48in48 program receives a team of Marketing and Technology professionals who meet with them to understand their goals and dreams and determine the best way to translate that to a beautiful, functioning website that helps achieve those goals. As the volunteer teams build each website, Bret provides technical support to those teams during the weekend to ensure each site runs as smoothly as possible. The 48in48 technical team launches most websites that Sunday evening of the weekend event, and the others shortly thereafter. At the point their website goes live, the Nonprofit receives 30 days of free hosting through 48in48. From then on they can either transfer their new site’s hosting elsewhere, or they can sign up to stay hosting through 48in48. For that first 30 days + however long they host with 48in48, Bret and others provide any Technical Support that is needed. Having trouble updating your content? Need to add a new user to have access to your site? Bret is there to support the Nonprofits and their requests as they use their website as the business tool that it is.
Why did Bret decide to volunteer?
Bret joined that first-ever 48in48 weekend event because he knew several of the players who were putting it on, and they essentially put out a call to arms to get help from their friends and community to pull it off. He saw it (and still sees it) as an opportunity to do something he’s good at while giving back. Bret sees this concept as the core of what 48in48 is for. Yes, we help all kinds of Nonprofits with a more professional and effective online presence, but 48in48 is also for the volunteers in this marketing and tech space, providing them a forum to use their skills for good. Bret loves the energy of the in-person events – some of them even spent the night in those early events, thriving on the energy of like-minded volunteers.
“It’s like a weekend camp for fellow nerds, and that resonated with me.”
What about working with 48in48 fulfills Bret?
It’s a combination of feeling good about himself for helping and feeling good about the help he can give to others. He wants to help solve that problem for the Nonprofits, whatever that problem is for each one. Bret feels especially capable of helping the Nonprofit get their site visitors to take the desired actions because of his unique understanding of how websites work to make a Nonprofit or business vision come together.
Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer for 48in48?
- Great swag like the T-shirt!
- The camaraderie of being a part of a new group of people that you don’t see every day
- Ability to finish a project in a short amount of time and feel great about it
- Networking opportunities – you never know who you’ll meet and how you can help each other
- Getting out of your comfort zone – proving that you can in fact push your limits, whether that’s learning a new skill like WordPress or staying up late to crank out a piece of the project
Volunteering for 48in48 can take many forms. If you’re daunted by a weekend event, you can get involved in other ways by donating your time on a weekly or monthly basis. There are year-round ways to give back, so reach out to talk about what might be the right way for you.
Sign up to volunteer today!