What to expect as a Maker for Make a Mark Chattanooga

The Make a Mark Chattanooga Make-a-Thon, a 12-hour creative make-a-thon benefiting local nonprofit organizations and humanitarian causes, will be held on September 23, 2017 at The Edney.

We opened applications in June to all nonprofit orgs/causes and received ~50 incredible applications for groups ranging from educational programs to poverty intiatives and beyond.

On July 1st, we opened applications for all creatives — including designers, developers, illustrators, animators, photographers, videographers, copywriters — and will leave applications open until July 31st.

Below are some of the FAQs that we’ve received from creatives across the area on what to expect with the make-a-thon.

What nonprofits are going to be part of this event?

We are going to be spending the next month interviewing nonprofits and narrowing down to a key group that we hope to accept. These decisions are based on mission, impact and the project itself. Once we receive Maker applications, we will make final decisions based on skill set.

What is on the application?

We use our form to determine skills, strengths and preferences of all the Makers that apply. This is also a great opportunity for you to tell us why you want to be part of the Make a Mark Chattanooga Make-a-Thon so we can ensure that everyone has an incredible experience.

Side note: this is also how we make sure we give you the right shirt and food.

I’ve applied, now what?

Maker applications will close at the end of July. We will spend the earlier part of August building teams that are a perfect fit. Final selections will be announced by mid-August. At this time, we will also provide more details about the project itself.

Which events are optional and required?

We will be holding a couple of events prior to the Make-a-Thon on September 23rd.

At the end of August we will be holding an optional kick off event at Oddstory Brewing with delicious treats from the FEED Co. Table & Tavern. This is an opportunity to meet other Makers and nonprofits.

During the first full week of September, we will be holding our required 60-minute Planning Meeting with each team.

These Planning Meetings were created organically in our first year and play a massive role in a project’s success. The nonprofit representative, all Makers, and Make a Mark representatives all attend the meeting to lay the groundwork for the project to be completed at the event.

The Planning Meetings play both a functional and relational role.

Functional Role

  • Opportunity to discuss the project and its details
  • Chance to discuss any prep work that needs to happen before the event
  • Allows Makers to skip research and dig into the execution of the project at the event

Relational Role

  • Opportunity to meet one another
  • Time to start building a collaborative team
  • Builds a foundation for understanding and investment

During the Planning Meetings, we talk about the goals of the project as well as the mission and impact of the organization. They come in as “clients” and “consultants” but leave as partners on a project. This feeds into the idea of designing with people, not for people.

What about the Make-a-Thon?

This is a full 12 hours of productivity and creativity — and it is crazy. But it is awesome! The day starts with a quick breakfast and kick off then leads right into the work.

We’ll be having lots of fun meals and snacks throughout the day provided by some of the best local restaurants, coffee shops and more. Thanks to Velo Coffee Roasters, Bread & Butter, Bluegrass Grill, Frothy Monkey, Lupi’s, Juice Bar, Mojo Burrito and Chattanooga Whiskey.

After lunch, nonprofit representatives stop by to have a brief check-in with their teams. This is a good time for Makers to present drafts to the nonprofit representatives and get any remaining feedback or resources needed to complete the project.

At the end of the day, with the nonprofits back in attendance, each team presents their work. Following demos, we have a reception to toast to the big day!

Are you a Maker that wants to take part in the event? What are you waiting for? Apply today!

To stay up to date on progress in Chattanooga, subscribe to the newsletter or send an email to me at hello@letsmakeamark.org.