Dallas Give Camp 2016

I love Give Camp. Like, maybe more than my dog Kado (but not Lexi).

Give Camp is an annual coding for charities event held in several major cities, including Dallas, which is the location I have attended for the past three years. Now, I know everyone’s experience is different, but I wanted to think through and pinpoint exactly what I love so much about it, and it’s not actually the schedule that revolves around amazing food.

You know what it is? A deep sense of collaboration and giving, on all sides. We coders and designers give to our charities, and our charity gives back to us.

This year I had the pleasure of working with the same stellar team that I worked with last year, with the addition of a great project manager.

We worked with a brand new charity called Bridge to Tomorrow.

Every year you hear of hundreds of thousands of dollars of scholarship money that is not applied for. At the same time students are scrambling to pay for school.
Bridge to Tomorrow turns the scholarship process upside down. Rather than have students apply for dozens of scholarships — dozens of donors come to students, called dreamers.

Getting Started


With a brand new charity, we were starting from scratch. No color palette, no font choices, no images, no content, absolutely nothing.

One of the first things we did was pick out a color palette and start working through logo options.

We spent some time scrolling through some pre-built color palettes until we picked a few that stood out to her. From there, I spent some time putting down logo ideas that I had.

Note: I’m not a great logo designer and am fully aware of that

We settled on the top right. Check!

Business Process

Being a brand new charity, the biggest thing we had to settle was the actual business process. The charity lead had a vague idea of how the process would work, but when you need to explain it on a website, it’s time to nail that down.

It occurred to my dev team that the best way to carry out what she was envisioning within WordPress was to essentially build a “store” of students. Donors could choose to pick up different pieces of a student’s education.

With this solved, I moved on to building the wireframe/visual design for the homepage.

While the charity lead and I were putting it together, the rest of my team was working to transform a store plugin to have language friendly to what her charity was trying to accomplish. Changing words from “Checkout” to “Support”, “Product” to “Dreamer”, etc. Without this key work, this whole project wouldn’t have been a success.

We launched thebridgetotomorrow.org with a few hours to spare. Many thanks to my team members, and ultimately to Laura Hayes for seeing this brilliant idea through.

There’s a bright future out there. Sadly we did not win best team picture :(