Nerdery announces 18 nonprofits invited to Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge

Needy-meets-Nerdy speed-dating mixer coming March 14, prior to March 26-27, 24-hour nerdathon

Nerdery announces 18 nonprofits invited to Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge

With heavy commitment from volunteers web pros (nerds), The Nerdery today announced the 18 nonprofit organizations selected for The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, the web development firm's volunteer-driven 24-hour event, returning to the Twin Cities the weekend of March 26-27. The winners are:

1. Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM)

2. Bloomington United for Youth (BUY)

3. Can Do Canines

4. Children's Program of Northern Ireland

5. Children's Safety Centers

6. Clownfish Swim Club

7. Crossroads Adoption Services

8. Educate Tanzania

9. Eye-Link Foundation

10. Minnesota Hands and Voices

11. Mobility for Independence

12. Northeast Residence Inc.

13. Project 515 Education Campaign

14. Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA)

15. Someplace Safe

16. Springboard for the Arts

17. St. Paul Public School Foundation

18. Working Family Resource Center

One nonprofit, Springboard for the Arts, had qualified early by winning last summer's Social Entrepreneur's Cup. Competing nonprofits articulated how they'd direct teams of 8-10 volunteers to further their mission online. Selection judges also considered organizational need and online testimonials from people most intimately involved with the nonprofits.

Comprised of leaders in the nonprofit and interactive communities, this independent panel of selection judges assessed applications from 46 eligible Minnesota nonprofits; they'll also pick the top development team at The Nerdery's all-nighter:

  • Christine Durand, communication director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
  • Christian Erickson, principal, Zeus Jones
  • Dan Grigsby, founder, Drivetrain
  • Dana Nelson, executive director,

"To get in the spirit of The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, I pulled an all-nighter going over applications of 46 nonprofits and reading testimonials from people whose lives they touched," said's Dana Nelson. "I look forward to meeting the chosen ones. For those organizations that weren't selected, I am glad that can help them fundraise online for free. While it's not a new website, it's a great start!"

Prior to the Nerdery Challenge, representatives from the 18 selected nonprofits and volunteer teams will gather the evening of Monday, March 14 from 6-9 p.m. to prep for Overnight experience. Hosted by sponsors Benchmark Learning, the bulk of this mixer will be a speed-dating exercise as volunteers make the rounds to visit reps from each nonprofit. Development teams and nonprofits are required to send at least one and as many as two representatives to the pre-Challenge mixer, and nonprofits are further required to send their "Decider" who'll direct their TBD team the entire 24 hours (notwithstanding nap time).

While teams won't know which nonprofit they will work with until moments before the 24-hour countdown begins at 9 a.m. March 26, event organizers from The Nerdery expect volunteers to use the needy/nerdy mixer to get familiar with what the nonprofits are trying to accomplish with their new, free website. And while no team can choose which nonprofit its 8-10 volunteers will serve, The Nerdery will take volunteer feedback on team skill-sets and organizational needs of nonprofits into account as they consider matchmaking.

In addition to pro bono services from interactive professionals, selected nonprofits also get:

  • Complimentary education in design and web applications, business analysis or project management from sponsor Benchmark Learning
  • Complimentary web-hosting from sponsor VISI
  • To its designated nonprofit, sponsors TST Media will donate NGIN, a suite of tools designed to empower organizations/members

In-kind sponsors: Arthouse; Chow Girls; CleverKate; CobornsDelivers; Ergotron; Gyropolis; Jimmy Johns; Peace Coffee; Pizza Luce'; ThinkGeek; Adam Turman; Unwind Within Massage.

About The Nerdery
With offices in Minneapolis in Chicago, The Nerdery (formerly Sierra Bravo) has a staff of 190 and was founded in 2003 by three programming pioneers. The Nerdery was honored in 2010 with The Quality of Life Award and The Jefferson Award for its record of corporate philanthropy through The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, at which volunteers have donated approximately a million dollars worth of web development services to 39 nonprofit organizations in the first three years of the annual 24-hour nonprofit nerdathon. The Nerdery has partnered with more than 200 marketing agencies in 29 states to develop their clients' interactive projects, including websites, social media and mobile apps. In 2010, The Nerdery made Minneapolis Star Tribune's Top Workplace list, and ranked #1 on the Best to Work list published by Mpls-St. Paul Business Journal. In 2011, The Nerdery made Minnesota Monthly's Best Places to Work list. The N Corps is a group within The Nerdery that works with companies' IT and operations staff to engineer web and mobile solutions that integrate business systems and automate workflow processes. The Nerdery has made the Inc 5000 and Biz Journal Fast 50 lists of fast-growing privately owned companies for the past three consecutive years.

Media Contact

Mark Malmberg
Communications Director
Cell: 612.850.3178