PayPal hackathon digitally future-proofs 5 Irish charities

9 Dec 2016

From left: Jonathan Davies, integrations and optimisation manager, PayPal; Maeve Dorman, head of global operations for EMEA; and Tommy Garvey, chair of PayPal Gives. Image: PayPal

PayPal recently held its first 24-hour charity hackathon, with a number of its staff going on to create valuable digital resources for five different organisations in Ireland.

Called Opportunity Hack, the PayPal hackathon held at Dublin’s Castleknock Hotel saw 15 of its staff from its offices in Dundalk and Blanchardstown take part in the session.

Over the course of a full day, the staff helped to build and develop digital resources for five Irish charities, led by the payment company’s integrations and optimisation manager, Jonathan Davies.

His team of helpers were a mix of computer programmers and those with expertise in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers.

As part of the challenge, they had to address five charities’ most pressing digital needs, enabling the non-profits to increase awareness and revenue potential.

Judged by a panel of senior PayPal management, the eventual winner of the hackathon was named as the team that worked with Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

What tipped the award in its favour was the development of a bidding app, which could be used for a public art auction to help the charity that provides funding for families of young children with brain damage.

Giving charities new websites

Another project developed on the day by one team helped Move4Parkinson’s to digitise its dance classes and streamline its database.

The remaining three teams, working with the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Dundalk Dog Rescue and the LGBT youth organisation BeLonG To, were able to build new websites for the organisations.

Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation CEO Hugo Jellett said of the event: “To mark our 20th year helping children in every parish in Ireland, the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation is embarking on an ambitious public art project in partnership with PayPal.

“The project aims to raise an estimated €65,000 for the charity – and it will all revolve around our new bidding app, created by PayPal’s finest technical minds. Thanks to their brilliant work, we now have a clever, cogent and user-friendly digital gallery platform that will allow us to make this auction a success.”

Looking for jobs in tech or science? Check out our Employer Profiles for information on companies hiring right now and sign up for our Career Republic e-zine for a weekly digest of sci-tech careers news and advice.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic