48in48: At the Intersection of Passion and Purpose

“Skills-based volunteering is a movement that brings passion, purpose, and possibility to corporations, professionals and nonprofits. It enables different sectors to work collaboratively and share expertise while building capacity and making the world a better place one social good mission at a time.” 

- Kimberly Dulin, Catchafire

48in48 is an organization formed to bring together web developers and digital marketing professionals to offer skills-based volunteer work to nonprofits. The program was piloted in 2015 in Atlanta with the goal of building 48 websites for 48 nonprofits in 48 hours. Last year, 48in48 gave over $1.2 million worth of professional expertise to local nonprofits. This year, the estimate rose to $1.5 million.

The second annual 48in48 “hackathon” was held the weekend of October 23rd at the General Assembly space in Atlanta. As a sponsor and a participant, the AgencySparks team volunteered their professional expertise (as well as their weekend) to bridge the marketing gap that so many nonprofits experience.

The AgencySparks team participating in 48in48. Ethan Parrish, Kate Jacoutot, Joe Koufman
48in48 volunteers working hard through the night!

The Benefit of 48in48 for Nonprofits

Just like any for-profit business, nonprofits must align limited resources with an organizational goal. Most nonprofits are focused on solving problems within their community rather than “looking good” on the web. As a result, business functions like marketing and website development fall to the bottom of their to-do lists, often deemed as nonessential to their core goals. 

Through 48in48, nonprofits gained access to top talent in the digital marketing and web development space at no cost to their organization. In addition to web design and development, many of the nonprofit organizations receive brand marketing (including new logos), email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing services. The event held in late October was a rousing success, delivering professionally designed and developed, search engine friendly websites. Marketing services provide a strong digital marketing foundation so that the nonprofits can get back to fulfilling their missions. 

48in48 Process Roadmap

The Benefit of 48in48 for Participants

“If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.”

 – Brian Tracy

According to Josh Bersin at Deloitte, there’s a strong case for the benefits of skills-based volunteering on an individual level:

  • 78% of people who volunteer feel less stressed
  • 76% report feeling healthier
  • 87% develop team/people skills

For companies, the importance of skill-based volunteer work goes beyond public relations. Research shows that by allowing a team to apply their professional skill set in a new context, skills-based volunteer work can help improve employee creativity, problem-solving ability, and leadership skills while strengthening the team as a whole.

The 48in48 volunteer base included a mixture of independent professionals and companies, providing a vehicle for digital marketing professionals and web developers to network while contributing real value to nonprofits. 

48in48 - Where Passion Meets Purpose

Individuals want to give back to their communities, but skills-based volunteering ensures that volunteers feel like more than just an extra set of hands. By contributing professional expertise to a nonprofit, each 48in48 volunteer was able to provide incremental value by leveraging their highly specialized skills and knowledge. Every volunteer wants to feel the intersection of their passion and purpose, and 48in48 provides a chance to showcase both. 

Skills-based volunteering/ pro bono consulting Infographic via LinkedIn Slideshare