The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2014, April 12-13

Nerds give their time, talent and weekend of April 12-13 to help nonprofits do what they do – but better – online

About the Event

On April 12-13, a couple hundred web pros (nerds) will spend 24 hours – in a row – helping nonprofits create websites they couldn’t otherwise afford, all pro bono.

The Nerdery is committed to bringing its annual hackathon to all communities where its Nerds live and work. This year, that means simultaneous nerdy deeds in Chicago, Kansas City and the Twin Cities. Since the first Overnight Website Challenge in 2008, more than $4 million in professional services have been donated to 114 nonprofits.

Nerd Need-To-Knows

Volunteer teams must self-organize with 8-10 web pros by March 23. Team captains recruit their peers and cover these skill sets: front-end development; back-end development; project management; strategy; UX; graphic design; copywriting; QA. All team members must be present the entire 24 hours (no working from remote/undisclosed locations). Returning volunteers, please note that previous log-in credentials do not carry over year-to-year.

Nonprofit Need-To-Knows

Registration for eligible nonprofits (501c3-registered organizations in (region) is closed. Nonprofits applied for this pro-bono opportunity by articulating their vision of how nerds could further their mission through better use of interactive technology. After completing their application, nonprofits direct their constituents/fans to post supporting testimonials to their online profiles; selection judges will favor nonprofits whose applications are endorsed by people served by the organization, donors, volunteers, staff, board members and other supporters. Orgs must provide proof of 501c3 nonprofit status via email at

Nerdy Deeds for Nonprofits

During this hackathon benefiting local nonprofits, volunteers form teams of 8-10 web pros that show up not knowing what nonprofit they’ll serve, pro bono, for the next 24 hours. In the final hours, an independent panel of judges/thought leaders representing the nonprofit and interactive communities will begin assessing the work of development teams; this same panel of judges will have previously selected participating nonprofits from a larger pool of qualified applicants.

About The Nerdery

During its more normal working hours, The Nerdery ( is an interactive design and development company that partners with clients to engineer and execute their interactive projects, including websites, mobile and social media. Voted by its staff onto multiple top workplace lists, The Nerdery is the professional home of 470+ web developers, UX designers, QA engineers and other Nerds. The Nerdery marked its 10th anniversary in Oct. 2013 by launching a commemorative coin etched with its company core values into space.

The Nerdery established The Nerdery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to advance philanthropic initiatives like The Overnight Website Challenge. Like-minded companies/foundations interested in sponsorship opportunities or donations should contact or call 877-OMG-NERD.

Important Dates

March 24
Application deadline for nerds
March 26
Selected nonprofits and teams announced
April 3
Needy/Nerdy mixer, 6-8 pm at The Nerdery, 9555 James Ave S, #245, Bloomington MN 55431
April 12-13
Web Challenge weekend
April 30
Judgement day, 6-8 pm at The Nerdery, teams and nonprofits present their work at Web Challenge Awards

Pre-Challenge mixer (needy-meets-nerdy):

Shortly before Web Challenge weekend, The Nerdery convenes team captains and nonprofit reps for an orientation/speed-dating exercise to make best-possible matches between orgs and nerds – but neither the nonprofits nor teams know with whom they’ll be paired until the 24-hour countdown clock begins ticking at 9 a.m. on the Saturday of Web Challenge weekend.

Web Challenge Awards

Awards night happens two weeks after Web Challenge weekend. Top teams are recognized for Design/UX, Functionality, Impact and Best in Show. The People’s Choice award is a crowd-sourced vote via the Overnight Website Challenge Facebook page, including before/after screenshots, links to new websites and testimonials from nonprofit reps and web pros. Top prize remains bragging rights, and the gratification of nerdy deeds done in the name of community service.


U of M St. Paul Campus
Continuing Education Conference Ctr

1890 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Day of the Event

7:00 a.m.
Registration, set up work stations. Volunteers: please be there by at least 8:00.
8:45 a.m.
Welcome, get ready to rumble, announce team assignments
9:00 a.m.
Countdown begins. Nonprofits meet their team of volunteers and get to work.
6:00 p.m.
Second dinner
6:00 a.m.
The most important meal of the day.
9:00 a.m.
Good night, and good luck.

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