Non-profit Problem Statements for Opportunity Hack 2021

(and team formation details)

👋Hello Opportunity Hackers!

On this page, you will find specific problems facing nonprofits.  

As you read through them, try to think through the scope of the solution that will allow for a simple solution that can be completed within this week.

Ensure that you will be able to create a solution that conforms to our judging criteria.

Check out this video for all of the information you need to know as a Hacker.

You can review all hackathon submissions over on DevPost here.

1. Team up: Don't have a team of 3 to 5 people?  Jump into the respective #npo- Slack channel for the non-profits you would like to volunteer with, have a conversation with others looking to help the same nonprofit and form a team! 

The Slack channels for each non-profit are listed below:

2. Declare your team: Only one person from your team should join #team-formation to declare your team and get a team number along with your Github repository

3. Pick your Top 3 non-profits: Work with your team to identify your Top 3 non-profits to work with, we have limited slots available to ensure every non-profit has at least one team to work with.  We ask that you come up with this mental model of your Top 3 non-profits so that if your first choice is taken, you still have two more options.

4. Declare your non-profit: Only after you have formed a team, and when your team has decided the problem and non-profit to help, join #npo-selection, make your selection in our Google Sheet. We want to ensure that we have at least one team working with each non-profit, so slots will be limited!



💌 Laura Pahules

🌎 Phoenix, Arizona

🙌 Completed 🙌

Control Alt Delete

Control Alt Delete helps people escape domestic violence. 99% of all clients are financially abused. We help with one time assistance with rent/utility/move in payments allowing the women we help to remain housed during this transition to independence. These Survivors have needed this help as they take control of their finances and futures.

Problem Statement

Like many nonprofits, Control Alt Delete struggles to illustrate how a donation supports their mission of helping women to escape domestic violence.  The anonymity that Control Alt Delete maintains is necessary, but hurts their ability to collect grant funding which shifts their focus to fundraising to support their cause.  If they are able to make donations more tangible to donors through their website, social media, and even augmented reality, the hope is that they can increase the people they can support through increased donations.

💰Requirements - Tangible Donations



Requests from prosecutor offices come in multiple times a day for this type of assistance. We help as we can based on funding and while what we have helped with is greatly appreciated it has not been 100% of the money that we need per survivor.

2021 3-8 WDWW Frog Swamp Mystery small.pdf
PK-2 Notice Problems and Notice and Wonder full pages.pdf

🚧 Incomplete 🚧

Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF)

With SARSEF, children don’t have to wait to become scientists or engineers. With curiosity as their guide, they can start asking questions they care about and use science and engineering to find solutions that are meaningful to them, and even, the world.

SARSEF started in 1955 on the University of Arizona campus. Over the years, SARSEF encouraged preK-12 students to pursue their dreams in science and engineering fields, adding programs and events to serve the entire community and state. In 2010, SARSEF realized too few of the students crossing the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) doorstep were girls, and even less were racial or ethnic minorities. SARSEF focused its mission on providing free STEM education and education to fill the gaps that existed in our state. Since that time, SARSEF has specifically dedicated and prioritized its time, resources, and passion to reach underrepresented (female students and students of color) populations in STEM - before biases and stereotypes are formed. SARSEF now impacts over 50,000 students in Arizona each year through our STEM education programs and activities. 

Problem Statement

Through SARSEF's What Do We Wonder program, students are challenged to notice and wonder about the world around them, leading to an investigation of real-life problems and finding solutions that matter. A SARSEF educator works with a class of students, prek-8th grade, for 4 sessions to transform student curiosity into a polished research project.  

A core component of our program is journal guides that provide a roadmap for students to notice and wonder about the world around them and how to turn that curiosity into a research question they can answer. This tool is also important for teachers and parents as it provides a template for how to coach their students as they work on their research project. Having these journal guides only in paper form has created barriers. During the pandemic, some schools cannot accept printed materials from outside organizations, and they are also out of toner and unable to buy more due to a shortage. In other cases, the journals get to the students, but not the parents who can help coach them through the method behind science and engineering with the journal as their guide. With that in mind, having a software-based version of the journal that could be accessed from a phone or a computer, considering low bandwidth rural areas, would greatly impact the reach of this important tool. 

📓Requirements - Digital Science Journal



This software solution will expand our reach in ways that we could never accomplish without your help. With the software development of a science and engineering guided journal, we will be able to expand the toolbox of parents, teachers, mentors, and volunteers who are there to support students with their engagement with STEM.  High school students will be able to use this software platform on their own to develop their ideas in a way that results in testable questions. 


💌 Apratim Tiwari & Shweta Kochatta

🌎 Odisha, India

🙌 Completed 🙌

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS)

Beginning in 1992, we have made concerted efforts towards inclusive education, women empowerment, tribal uplift and sustainable development. We have grown to become the world’s largest residential education institution for tribal children. Our experience shows that, given access and opportunity, there is no limit to what indigenous students can achieve. It is our lifelong mission to ensure that indigenous heritage is accorded due respect and indigenous communities are empowered through spreading of awareness about tribal rights. 

Our aim is to break the vicious cycle of poverty and social isolation and to restore hope for a better future. We believe that every person has the right to access resources and opportunities in order to live and develop with dignity and to become an active and contributing member of our society.

Problem Statement

The pandemic has moved students from our campus to their homes, and to adapt to this new situation, we currently maintain WhatsApp groups as a way to share knowledge with the people that we serve.  While we love WhatsApp because it allows us to be directly connected via mobile device in areas where 2G may be the only data option, with over 200 people in a group, 300 messages quickly get lost and we lack the functionality we need to maintain relevant documentation for each person along with reminding people when deadlines are approaching.  Right now we make phone calls which are not scalable. We are looking to move away from WhatsApp into a solution that would list the current career opportunities, examination dates and study material, all within a single place.

We are looking for help to develop an online portal (career advisory) listing various career opportunities/avenues for KISS students and alumni. The aim of the portal is to mentor and guide the students while studying at KISS (and after they graduate) to ensure they are placed in both public and private services, in order to achieve a better representation of the indigenous communities.

The scope of the work required us to break the problem statement into two different projects

📑Requirements - Portal

📚Requirements - Document Summarization



Developing the platform will ensure that the indigenous students of KISS are placed in leadership and related roles where they can contribute & benefit society at large, eventually leading to the empowerment of their own communities. 

Consequently, a window of opportunities might open to the indigenous youth leading to economic independence through employment generation and social entrepreneurship initiatives. The success stories shared on the platform will also inspire the future generations to attain economic empowerment and a sustainable & healthy life.



💌 Hayfa Marengo

🌎 Scottsdale, Arizona

🚧 Incomplete 🚧

Mindfulness First

Our mission is to offer scientifically-informed programs based in trauma-informed Mindful Awareness and Social-Emotional Learning which equitably support children, educators and communities with tools to manage stress and navigate life’s challenges. 

We envision a cohesive society where humankind is supported by equitable tools for self-efficacy and mental health wellbeing through systemic changes for stronger, safer and more connected communities.

Problem Statement

We are launching an online store soon and will be adding new capsules on an ongoing basis. Currently our site is on Squarespace and has a limited search and cart capabilities. We'd love to streamline this process and make our ecommerce site easily searchable for all content and our cart easier to access to improve the customer experience and the purchases of our course content and physical merchandise.

The scope of the work required us to break the problem statement into two different projects

🏪Requirements - Website SEO, Storefront, A/B Testing

🧪Requirements - Free and Open-Source Shopify A/B Testing Solution



100% of the proceeds from our online shop, funds our mission. Through our partnership with on demand printing and drop shipping, we've created an additional income stream without creating additional workloads. The more seamless we make the user experience, the more likely we are to raise funds to support our mission. Most of our work involves teaching mindfulness life skills in schools and this solution would help further that work.