48in48’s 1st-Ever Global Virtual Event

48in48 Global Virtual Event

What is the 48in48 Global Virtual Event?

On October 2-4, 2020, 48in48 put on a weekend hackathon event that spurred over 350 volunteers spanning 15 countries and 16 timezones to build 63 Nonprofit websites – fully virtually. At typical 48in48 weekend events over the past six years, 48 volunteer teams in a certain city come together to build 48 Nonprofit websites. But this year was different for all the 2020 reasons, so our team simply figured out how to make it all happen virtually. And while they were at it, they went ahead and went for more than 48 Nonprofits, so at this recent event, it was actually “63in48.” An amazing accomplishment!

How did the Global Virtual Event come together?

A small army of volunteers worked tirelessly for months to prepare. They met weekly. They planned. They spun up trial virtual events and built actual new websites for Nonprofits while they were at it. They sorted logistics like how in the world were they going to mail an event T-shirt to every volunteer in individual locations across 15 countries?? They planned fun breakout sessions and figured out how to make what was a fully in-person experience a fun, amazing and effective virtual one. They recruited sponsors. They helped Nonprofits get through their pre-work. They assigned teams. And then when volunteers or Nonprofits dropped out, they did it all over again.

What did the Event include?

  • Opening Ceremony – Keynote speaker Danielle Banks, Meteorologist from The Weather Channel, gave an inspiring and fun “forecast” to all the US Volunteers where she predicted a “100% chance” of 48 hours ahead filled with work and fun and doing good. The Europe/Africa/Asia kickoff featured Rita Chadha, CEO of Small Charities Coalition. 
  • Breakout Sessions – Volunteers and Nonprofits could attend a variety of Breakout Sessions held throughout the weekend. Homebrew coffee tips, Mindfulness, a live Musician, Beer Homebrewing, Costume design, Skincare tips, a Magician, and more! These breaks offered fun and useful ways for everyone to relax for a little while. Breakout_Live Musician
  • Slack Feed – The Slack app was critical to help bring that missing element of energy that naturally comes from a live event. Everyone was active participating in photo challenges, testimonials, reminders for the breakouts, good-natured ribbing, genuine questions, tech support, ADA compliance support and so much more. If ever you weren’t sure what to do, the Slack channel was there, offering a smile or a chuckle or inspiration. Individual teams also used Slack for communication and coordination. Slack was a fun tool to lavish praise or give encouragement as well as reach out for assistance or wisdom. Jo Ann Hill - IBM - 48in48 Final Day Renjith John 48in48 AIIR
  • Tech Support – A Technology Slack channel provided support throughout the weekend, including accessibility support to ensure the websites were ready from all aspects at the end of the 48 hours.
  • Project Management Check-Ins – The PMs were engaged and caring. They helped each other in addition to being the true drivers of each team’s ability to pull off building a website in 2 days. They had scheduled check-ins throughout the weekend at all hours of the day and night, all to ensure every team had what they needed to succeed.
  • Nonprofit Management – After investing time and energy in the pre-event coursework leading up to the weekend, Nonprofits made themselves readily available for the entire event to work with Volunteers and help create the final product. Many attended our Nonprofit Education Series, led by Todd Chambers and Steve Swanson, for helpful guidance on marketing and design strategies for their new websites. 
  • Closing Ceremony – Thank you’s were shared, winners were declared. Everyone felt exhausted yet energized by all the good work they had poured into making the event a successful one for each and every one of those 63 Nonprofits.

Who were the winning websites?

  • Top Sites for Europe/Africa/Asia:
  • US 1st Place:
  • US 2nd Place:
    • EarthShare Georgia – Team Captain Planet
  • US 3rd Place:
  • US Honorable Mention:
    • Progressive Education – Team Three Men and a Website

What are the final stats for the Event?

  • 63 Nonprofit Websites built
  • 350+ Volunteers
  • 15 Countries
  • 16 Timezones
  • too much coffee!

A BIG Thank You to our INCREDIBLE:

  • Volunteer leaders:
    • Daniel Dartnell – Program Director 
    • Sanaya Khambatta – EPM Europe/Asia 
    • Rooth Blackman – US East 
    • James Williams – US West
  • Sponsors:
    • Cox 
    • State Farm 
    • Tillamook
    • Dagger
    • IBM
    • Delta Air Lines
    • Luckie
    • Experian
    • Rebel & Reason
    • Marsden Marketing
    • Dragon Army
    • KMS
  • Partner:
    • IBM – Bee Lian Quah, Arti Badnami, Phil Robertson, Denise Denson
  • Presenters:
    • Rita Chadha, Small Charities Coalition, UK 
    • Danielle Banks, IBM Watson Weather Channel

Heather French Henry said,

“Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” 

We couldn’t agree more. We hope you’ll get involved with us at 48in48 as we work to elevate and help Nonprofits worldwide.

Please Watch and Share the Event Video!