Frequently asked questions

Do I need technical skills to get involved?

No! We desperately need of people who can...

  1. Grow meaningful relationships with organizations and volunteers

  2. Organize and communicate volunteer work

  3. Bring end users into the conversation

You don't even need experience organizing a project. The key here is passion and dedication!

How do I recruit volunteers?

Oftentimes, people get caught up in the how. That is, they focus on how they can build something cool. However, projects create longterm engagement when they focus on what and who.

  • What is the key problem a non-profit is addressing?

  • Who benefits from their work?

For example,

  • Philly Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) faced a big obstacle when helping people expunge criminal charges from their records. See this case study.

  • Prevention Point wanted to shift their case management away from spreadsheets, in order to improve reporting for grants.

  • PAWS animal shelter needed to integrate data across a number of their systems, in order to speak holistically to volunteers, donors, and adoptees (e.g. accidentally ask someone who already donates to make a donation, when emailing all volunteers).

Key strategies for recruiting volunteers include presenting at a Code for Philly hacknight, clearly listing roles needed on your project page, and updating your project page. Don't hesitate to reach out to leadership on the Code for Philly slack if you need help!

How do I build momentum?

Two major factors for building momentum are..

  • meeting regularly at Code for Philly hacknights

  • keeping your project's slack channel and page active with updates

How can I keep track of the project?

See the section on maintaining partnerships, for advice on keeping on top of things.

What kind of involvement can I expect from CfP leadership?

Code for Philly leadership is itching to help! Generally, we are most useful at..

  1. Helping with establishing new partnerships and projects

  2. Building awareness (e.g. with new volunteers)

During the early stages of a project, we may be involved with scheduling and attending meetings. As things progress, we try to find a passionate volunteer who can help organize and facilitate. If things seem to stall, we can help look for someone to pick things up (and sometimes pick up slack in the meantime).