Frequently asked questions

Opportunity Hack banner outside the front door at Galvanize Phoenix

What other nonprofits are similar to Opportunity Hack?

If you are looking to get involved in your local community, and we're not hosting a hackathon, or volunteer internship, there's no need to wait! Check out these resources to get involved when you have the time.

Catch A Fire


Free Code Camp

Donate Code

Opportunity Hack volunteers and mentors help us run the show!

What about other hackathons?

Check out these other hackathons - they may not be exactly the same, but they have the same intent

Hack AZ


Hacks for Humanity

AZ Give Camp

Hackathon audience at Galvanize in Phoenix Arizona

How can I run a similar hackathon that will focus on nonprofits?

Yes! We'd love for you to even take the Opportunity Hack brand/logos as well as our process!

We've had several companies and schools run their own Opportunity Hack hackathon including PayPal Hack ATL, PayPal Hack Chicago.

Check out our hackathon runbook here and help us keep our documentation updated via GitHub PRs within this GitHub repo.

If you're looking for some project ideas for your hackers, be sure to refer to our Projects page.

If this is a nonprofit, why do you offer prize money?

Quite simply, we've been running Opportunity Hack since 2013 and we've learned many things along the way - one of those things is incentives. Folks are donating their time during hackathons, but we usually don't see a production-grade solution delivered here. Asking the winning teams to continue to work on their projects post-hackathon has been a challenge: family, friends, schoolwork all is important - so to give some incentive for completion we like to hold back 80% (as of 2018) of our prize money from our sponsors, and deliver that upon completion of the project. We call this a "Statement of Work" (SOW) contract prize.

Opportunity Hack prize example of statement of work and day-of-prize
Example day-of-prize and statement of work prize from 2018

How do you determine when a project is done?

In software engineering, this is typically called "definition of done". We want to be able to provide not just a prototype, but a working solution for a nonprofit.

  1. Code is updated on a public GitHub repository (see What is Open Source?)

  2. Deployed to a cloud-based solution (e.g. Heroku, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services)

  3. Username/password for any administration sent to nonprofit so they can maintain the system and restart things if necessary

  4. A README that describes:

    1. Why this code was written: The problem statement and the targeted nonprofits of your solution

    2. The authors of the code and links to your LinkedIn profiles

    3. The high-level technology used along with versions (e.g. NodeJS v16.15.0, Firebase, Auth0, Google Analytics)

    4. Step-by-step instructions on how to deploy your software to a cloud-based solution (we want any other nonprofit to be able to use your solution if it matches their same problem statement)

    5. A guide of how to use your software including screenshots that walk people through the user interface

  5. (Optional) A CI/CD pipeline that will build, test, and security scan any new merged code

  6. (Optional) Amazing logging and metrics - this is optional because there is no easy platform to do this

  7. (Optional) Integration with Google Analytics so nonprofits can monitor the usage and users of their application

What is your privacy policy?

We don't share your data with anyone. The platforms that you used to signup for hackathon (e.g. DevPost) have their own privacy policies, so be sure to check theirs. All information we collect is used to help us collaborate better with you and nonprofits. If you would like to exchange your personal details with nonprofits, we request that you do this on your own.

When we collect contact details from nonprofits, we make sure that we're clear that this information is given to teams who may need to reach out to the nonprofit to ask questions and get feedback as they build their solution.