Another Idea From SitePoint - And We'd Like To Gauge Your Interest

At SitePoint HQ we regularly work on ideas – big and small – that could help you guys in some way (or even just brighten up your day). We call this innovation program Triple Time (because it lasts 3 days each month). One example of a successful project that was launched recently is, which you may have seen. If not, check it out.

A couple the team have been working on an idea that we’d like to float to you guys before we take it much further. It’s called ‘Code Volunteer’ and the premise is this:

If people have a web project that they can’t afford to pay for or don’t have the skills to complete (ideally not-for-profit organisation e.g. school, charity, local community group) they can list their project and we pair them up with talented designers/developers/marketers that are willing to volunteer some time and skills for a worthy cause.

What we’re asking you is whether you know of any individuals, friends, family, colleagues or organisations (ideally non-for profit due to it being a volunteer program) that need help with their web presence. They could be located anywhere in the world.

Here’s what we need you to do:
If you know of someone that might fit the bill and needs help (whether it be a site built from scratch, tweaks to an existing site, help with a mobile presence, marketing… anything really) then please let us know by replying here with a “yes I know someone located in <country>”.

At this stage we’re not asking for any kind of commitment, this is purely an exercise to gauge interest.

Hi. I have just come accross this site as I was looking for a developer that might be interested in a project that I have been considering as I cannot find a particular service online. There is no organization involved as it the idea has not developed that far yet. I have concept ideas about what is required and have started to “test the water” and there seems to be interest in my proposal. I would be quite happy for this idea to be developed as a not for profit arrangement as its prime purpose is in the potential for saving of life.

The problem will be making sure that, when the project gets listed, and before anyone can consider volunteering, the needs are well and truly known. Which isn’t easy. And if the non-profit has a dearth of technical people, this will make it more difficult.

I assume SitePoint someones are first going to look at the project(s) in question as technical people to determine what exactly it would be the non-profits need? Or would there be a separate layer of volunteers, people willing to talk to the client and look at what they already have/want and hash out what technically would be needed?

One of the hardest parts of a project really.

LOL, I do not know of any projects, as the ones I know about I help (helped). But I have been looking for new projects and routes to find new projects. Where do we look to see if we are interested in up coming projects?

For me I find a difference between groups where everyone (or almost everyone) is a volunteer. And groups where they may be a 501c3 but they are selling a service and part of selling that service is having the web design or programming done. I don’t volunteer for the second type.

Yes I know in india. Its me. i would gladly volunteer for such an idea.

Devilsnare, that you’re in the Detroit of the East shouldn’t matter one bit. :smiley:

I think it sounds a great idea, I’ve lent volunteer time for a few local charities. Mostly I find they don’t need just one specific little thing done, they need something bigger, like setting up a website, getting SEO results, having a Facebook page run etc. the kind of ongoing jobs an in-house web person would do, but perhaps what could be useful in that area is providing some training on social networks / link building etc. The last thing I did was a couple of hours consultation and training for a charity so they understood the basics of SEO and could start working their on-page copy and link building towards it.

This is sorely needed in the nonprofit community. However, there is a relatively new site that does this, but does not limit to strictly just web design. Perhaps find a way to engage volunteers with this project?

I do quite a bit of free work for non-profits, individuals and groups and recognize that there is a need for this. To that end, I created a website that attempts to put people in need of web design and IT work with people who can provide these services for free. The site is

I am available to help with projects like this.

John Crockford

Thanks for your feedback everyone. Much appreciated. I’ll keep you updated as we progress.

This idea could work really well, but it would need to be very heavily controlled.

I’ve seen similar ideas carried out, only for the site to be filled to the brim with spammy requests for free programming, students lying to get their homework done on the cheap and managers that generally undervalue the need for a software developer.

It’s worth noting that SitePoint has taken a lot of criticism for 99designs as some designers feel that it undervalues their work. It’s not a point I personally agree with as there is a fee at the end, and it serves an entirely different market, but running a site where anyone can join and get legitimate work done for free would cause an outcry. I like the idea of serving non-profits, but as I said above users of the service will need to prove their status.

Also, where does the new service stand from a liability viewpoint? What if a non-profit gets a site from this service that handles payment and ends up hacked due to poor programming practices? I can see it being a legal minefield and it’ll only take one case to drag the name of the service through the streets.