The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2017, April 22-23

On April 22-23, nerds will give their time & talent to help nonprofits do what they do – but better – online.

About the Event

The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge is a volunteer-driven program of the Nerdery Foundation, aimed at maximizing the community impact of nonprofit organizations through digital strategy and custom software design and development – all pro bono.

Registration is open now for Twin Cities area volunteer web pros and nonprofits vying for their professional services. The sooner you complete your application, the better your odds to get involved – and get the most out of this experience.


From now through March 17th, eligible nonprofits (501c3-registered organizations in Minnesota) can apply for this pro bono opportunity by articulating their vision of how nerds could further their mission through better use of interactive technology. After completing their application, nonprofits direct their constituents/fans to post supporting testimonials to their online profiles; selection will favor nonprofits whose applications are endorsed by people served by the organization, donors, volunteers, staff, board members and other supporters. Orgs must upload proof of 501c3 nonprofit status to complete their application.


Starting now and through March 17th, volunteer teams can self-organize with 6-12 people. Team captains recruit their peers and cover these skill sets: front-end development; back-end development; project management; strategy; UX; graphic design; copywriting; QA. All team members must be available the entire 24 hours. During this hackathon, each web pro team will serve one of the selected nonprofits, pro bono, for the next 24 hours. An independent panel of judges/thought leaders representing the nonprofit and interactive communities will assess the work of development teams.

Can't participate that weekend, or unable to stay the full 24 hours? We have additional nerdy roles to fill. Sign up as a Strategist/Planner to be paired with a nonprofit to help them document their needs prior to the event. Or be a Subject Matter Expert or Free Agent to offer your knowledge and skills to all teams during the event. Start an application to learn more.

What's Changed

The Nerdery Foundation has reflected on what we’ve done with this event since 2008, asking past participants for their free advice on what to keep doing, stop doing and/or consider doing, including how change can be a constant good going forward. See our thought process and summary of changes – good context for everyone.


The Nerdery is a hivemind of software engineers, strategists, human-centered designers and problem solvers who create digital products, services and experiences that better people’s lives and drive business outcomes. With offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, KC and Phoenix, The Nerdery’s core services are mobile applications, web applications, websites, systems integration and digital consulting.


The Nerdery Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, works to activate technologists to use their talents and skills to better our world. Through its flagship event, The Overnight Website Challenge, over 1000 volunteer web pros have donated about $6 million in pro bono services to 175 nonprofits. Like-minded companies/foundations interested in sponsorship opportunities or donations should contact us.

Important Dates

Mar 17
Nonprofit registration closes
Mar 20
Announce semifinalist nonprofits/teams and begin Strategy/Planning work with semifinalists
Mar 26
EXTENDED DEADLINE: Web Pro Team registration closes
Apr 3
Announce final nonprofits/teams for the Overnight Website Challenge
Apr 13
Pre-Challenge Mixer
Shortly before Web Challenge weekend, The Nerdery convenes team captains and nonprofit reps for an orientation/speed-dating exercise to make best-possible matches between orgs and nerds – but neither the nonprofits nor teams know with whom they’ll be paired until just before the 24-hour countdown clock begins ticking at 9 a.m. on the Saturday of Web Challenge weekend.
Apr 22-23
Web Challenge Weekend
Official hours are 9 am Saturday through 9 am Sunday, but with set-up and come-down time, you’ll want to otherwise clear your calendar for the entire weekend.
May 11
Web Challenge Awards
Awards night happens a few weeks after Web Challenge weekend. Top teams are recognized for Design/UX, Functionality, and Impact. The People’s Choice award is a crowd-sourced via public voting, based on before/after screenshots, links to new websites and testimonials from nonprofit reps and web pros. Top prize remains bragging rights, and the gratification of nerdy deeds done in the name of community service.

Day of the Event

Here's the schedule for the event on April 22-23:

7:30 - 8:30 am
Registration. Web teams set up work stations.
8:45 am
Welcome announcements. Nonprofits meet their teams of web volunteers.
9:00 am
Countdown begins.
Teams receive help from on-site Subject Matter Experts, while judges make the rounds to begin assessing each team's plan and work so far.
6:00 pm
Second dinner
6:00 am
More caffeine and/or calories – everything must go...
9:00 am
Drawing for fabulous prizes, then goodbye until Web Challenge Awards night (you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here)


Apply to participate as a web pro, or submit your nonprofit application now!

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