The upcoming Brisbane Not-for-profit Salesforce hackathon on August 4th and 5th run by Brisbane Trailblazer Community Groups is bringing together charitable organisations and tech experts, asking for software administrators and developers to team up and provide technological solutions for nonprofits using the Salesforce platform.

The event is one of the first of its kind, and the combination of skills could bring change for nonprofits, whose lack of resources can often inhibit their work. But the outcomes of a hackathon could solve these problems and have long-term benefits for developers looking to flex their creative muscles and connect with their peers.

Benefits for nonprofits


Nonprofits around Australia do extraordinary work, toiling behind the scenes in an impossibly vast range of areas. However, most suffer from a lack of resources, which directly impacts their ability to implement technological solutions that could dramatically enhance the work they do.

Connecting these organisations with technology experts gives the former access to a pool of people who are enthusiastic about nonprofits and potentially be able to work with them to help them solve some of their challenges.

The emphasis on Salesforce technology at the hackathon further contributes to this. Many nonprofit Trailblazers use Salesforce, but lack the resources to use it to its full potential. Working with tech experts allows them to better understand the wide range of applications of the software and see the various ways that it can support their work.  

An example of this is Choice, Passion, Life (CPL), an organisation that provides a range of services to people with disabilities. They currently use Salesforce, but needs the help of experts to develop a referral system that will allow people to identify an issue
and flag it to an appropriate therapist online.

Encouraging creativity


While CPL knows how the platform works, one of the benefits of the intense environment of the hackathon is that it encourages both developers and nonprofits to be open-minded and creative with the ability of the solutions.  

The physical environment of the hackathon encourages this sort of interaction. Upon arrival, the developers will organise themselves into teams of four. We have actively encouraged people with different levels of experience to participate, facilitating collaboration between individuals who might not work together under ordinary circumstances. The hope is that this will lead to a blend of different ideas and even more innovative solutions.

The teams will then be partnered with nonprofits, familiarise themselves with the problem statement and begin working on their solutions, using the Salesforce nonprofits starter pack as a starting point.

Leaders in the Salesforce Community will also be around on the day to provide support to the teams, giving them access to more information about the technology and allowing them to further build on their solutions.

Benefits for developers


The hackathon not only presents a chance for developers to flex their creative muscles, it could also have tangible benefits for their careers.

For experienced developers, it is an opportunity to become more closely aligned with Salesforce technology, especially those who have their admin certification and have gone through the Salesforce training but haven’t yet had the opportunity to work with the software in a hands-on way.

While there is a minimum skill requirement for participating in the hackathon, we are also expecting developers at the start of their careers. For them, it will be an invaluable chance to get involved in the Salesforce community in Brisbane and start building on their professional network.

The winning team of the hackathon won’t go home empty handed. They will receive free certification from Salesforce, as well as a Google Home device. On the day, teams can also expect some other Salesforce swag, including podcast microphones, hoodies and backpacks.

Register to attend the Brisbane Not-for-profit Salesforce hackathon on August 4th and 5th. NFPs with challenges or those that want to get involved are encouraged to register too.