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How to Get Started

Whether you’re a computer whiz or allergic to email, chances are you’ve heard of nefarious hackers before. However, this fundraising idea doesn’t require your participants to bust into mainframes. In fact, this event is a way for your participants to raise money for a great cause and solve a social problem at the same time!

What is a hack-a-thon?

A hack-a-thon is an event where your participants have to solve a problem with technology in a certain timeframe. Beyond that, you can truly make the hack-a-thon your own. Here are some of the items you can request for your hack-a-thon participants to create:

  • Software
  • A mobile app
  • A physical gadget

What should we prepare?

If you’ve never planned a hack-a-thon before, don’t worry, you’re in good company! Here are some of the questions you should ask ahead of time:

  • What’s our fundraising goal?
  • How much should we charge to participate?
  • How will we incentivize participation?
  • What problem will our participants be solving?
  • What’s their timeframe to complete the challenge?
  • How do we determine the winner?
  • Is it a team event, or an individual one?

These are just some of the considerations you should keep in mind before announcing your hack-a-thon. For more information about which programs you’ll be allowing your participants to use, use a technological consultant for insider knowledge and tips.

How will we make money?

There are numerous ways to monetize your hack-a-thon to reach your fundraising goals. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Charge an admittance fee. If you make a desirable event and market it well, programmers will join your event to win your prize pool. Charge them a fee to join the fun! Consider making your hack-a-thon a team event and discount the rate for a larger team sot hat more people are involved in your event. Also, be sure you advertise the fact that their fees are benefiting a good cause. 
  • Implement a crowdfunding campaign. Leading up to the event, have your participants and their friends and family donate to a crowdfunding campaign. This will add to the prize pool and incentivize more people to participate. This method allows for your hack-a-thon to reach more viewers and make waves in your community. 
  • Make it a peer-to-peer event. The best way to get people personally invested in the success of your hack-a-thon is to gamify the money-raising process. You can have your participants sign up for your hack-a-thon by directly raising money through their own donation pages. In return, offer them prizes or advantages during the event, such as a head start. 

A hack-a-thon brings creators together to make a difference and solve issues. Once your event is underway, you’ll not only raise money for a great cause but you’ll also spur innovation in your field!