GiveCamp 2018

October has one of my favorite weekends of the year – PGH GiveCamp.

Part of the larger movement, PGH GiveCamp is an annual event where people from around the city’s booming technology industry team with area non-profits to solve their creative and technical problems.

GiveCamp is a marathon ran at a sprint pace. Starting Friday at 5pm and ending Sunday by 3pm, teams of 4-6 volunteers & representatives from the non-profits work about 24 working hours to scope, design, build, test, and deploy their work.

Our Salesforce teams are built with 3 Salesforce volunteers paired up with representatives from the non-profit organizations for the weekend. Work is completed at a dizzying speed – but only after data has been backed up, new sandboxes created, and clear ground rules established.

Project scope is limited to the must haves first, nice to haves as time allows, and even then only when sufficient documentation & training has been completed to allow our non-profits to be successful when they return to work on Monday.

Luckily we always seem to over deliver and 2018 was no exception. This was my third year organizing the Salesforce projects & teams; thanks to our team members, the Salesforce projects have never run smoother.

With project & volunteer recruitment beginning in July, by the time GiveCamp weekend arrives in October I’ve worked with each organization to help settle on scope, complete some solution design, assign them lots of homework (clean your data!).

From there it’s up to our team of volunteers, who give up their weekends to deliver amazing builds, to run a full delivery life cycle inside of 48 hours. This year those groups completed 5 builds for area non-profits, delivering over 350 hours of service worth $60,000+ at average Salesforce consulting rates.

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation works in a rapidly developing area to ensure everyone has a share in the growth, revitalization, and success of the community. One of their programs places high school seniors in a mentoring program that helps them find paid internships in a field of their interest along with help applying to colleges/universities/trade programs.

They have been managing this program (and all of their others!) using Google Docs & Sheets and needed a more professional, scalable solution. They recently acquired a and needed help getting started…enter GiveCamp.

An experienced admin/consultant, admin/architect for a large org, and a 20 year old with an interest in Salesforce (his mom happens to be a 4x certified consultant & account exec) worked with 3 team members from Bloomfield-Garfield to fully implement a new NPSP build, migrate data, document processes, and train the staff.

Our most ambitious project in terms of scope, the team did an amazing job, easily delivering a $15-20k build for a worthy cause.

The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA

The Mentoring Partnership helps children by delivering resources to mentoring programs throughout the region. They work with 150+ organizations each year to deliver ~4,000 hours of training that touches thousands of children in our area.

With a team of only 4 employees, they rely heavily on Salesforce to run an efficient operation. They have a large list of improvement projects on the horizon, first up of which was to migrate to Lightning Experience.

Our GiveCamp team included two newer admins who wanted to learn and grow their skills paired with an experienced consultant; they were first to start building and first to finish, even completing a number of stretch projects for TMP while helping each other develop their skills on the platform.


JustHarvest addresses hunger in Allegheny County at its root – economic injustice – through a focus on public policy and community food access. They work with local farmer’s markets and other partners to provide education and access to fresh, healthy foods for all families, including those enrolled in the State’s EBT program.

Last year we delivered a new app to manage their farmer’s market programs and we were thrilled to know that effort has really been transformational for that organization & program. This year they returned for help with the food stamp application effort.

We pulled together two volunteers with deep non-profit & food advocacy roots paired with a talented developer to create an application process integrated with the JustHarvest website.

East End Cooperative Ministries

EECM offers many services in the East End of Pittsburgh, with their IMPACTS program providing a variety of services to help individuals & families break the cycle of poverty, addiction, homelessness, and joblessness.

They’ve had an existing Salesforce org for years, however they have been battling a series of issues over the years and have not had the budget to make improvements to their org.

The current build required introducing duplicate contacts into Salesforce to manage repeat clients, creating a confusing set of data and inability to track a clients interactions with the organization & its programs.

Our role for the weekend was to update the object model, creating a new master object for client program interactions, consolidating duplicate contacts, migrating & updating 50,000 records across 18 objects, create a new Visual Flow for admitting clients to the residential programs, and updating various triggers to support the new object model.

The most technical build of the weekend, it required the most hours of effort, but we were able to deliver a solution that had EEMC staff blurry-eyed with tears of happiness.

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is a non-profit that inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse. They operate a non-traditional art supply shop in Pittsburgh’s East End that collects material donations to support their mission.

Their shop staff had access to all financial donations and other information in their org and were faced with apps & page layouts that displayed way too much information for the role they needed to complete – logging material donations.

A PepUp Tech alumnus worked with the PCCR admin to create new security settings, sharing rules, profiles, and an app for the shop staff to deliver a more streamlined user experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *