Kim Wall has been creating tech solutions since childhood. It is no shock that her professional passions revolve around inclusivity in the tech industry. The fabulous fem is the President and Co-Founder of dsmHack, a non-profit focused on bringing technical solutions to other non-profits who desperately need the help, but often can't afford the high price tag of developing software. Kim, along with her team of tech wizards found a way to help solve problems from the inside out through a yearly weekend hackathon.
Read what Kim has to say about the dsmHack journey:
Nonprofit organizations face many barriers as they work to further their missions and support their clients. Often, budgets are tight and the allowance for technology help is unobtainable. This problem is what led to the launch of dsmHack with our signature event: the Des Moines Charity Hackathon, an annual event that brings together technical resources with the nonprofits that make our community great.
For those not familiar with a hackathon, generally speaking it's where tech professionals spend 48 hours focused on the task of solving a problem or coming up with a cool new piece of technology. Usually, it's a competition with winners often getting a nice sized check or even a job. Our hackathon is different. dsmHack isn't a competition. It's about the community coming together to make Des Moines shine brighter.
Each year, the dsmHack committee solicits applications from nonprofit organizations in the Greater Des Moines area and beyond who need help overcoming a technology problem. Project submissions vary from digitizing paper processes, streamlining donor databases, to helping an organization organize a web presence.
While nonprofits prepare their dream projects, volunteers sign up to commit a weekend of their time to help these organizations. They go in sight unseen, with no idea what they’ll be working on or who they’ll be helping—which is part of the fun for many participants!
During last year's event we provided nearly $160,000 in in-kind technology services to 10 local nonprofits. That's $160,000 that doesn't have to taken from other important projects and initiatives.
This year's event is being held March 22-24 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, IA. Our tech pro spots sold out in a record 48 hours, but applications for nonprofit projects are currently open through March 6th. 10 nonprofits will be selected from the pool of applicants to receive FREE technical help during the event.
If you're a nonprofit that could use a little tech TLC or you know of one that does, please head to our Nonprofits page to learn more and to apply. If you have any questions about the process or whether your project is a good candidate for the hack, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're interested in learning more about dsmHack, please visit our website!