The challenges faced by nonprofits and the clients they serve are constantly evolving. And we know it takes more than just financial contributions to generate change. It requires teamwork and usually a solid understanding of how technology can help you reach your goals. The problem is that knowing how to write code or design functional applications or back end systems are not skills that many nonprofits have at their disposal.

That’s why with help from Hack Create, we put together Middle Tennessee’s first-ever Hack for the Community powered by HCA

On March 7 and 8 at the Emma Bistro, The HCA Foundation brought together Nashville’s best visual designers and software developers – including many HCA team members to work together over 36 hours to build technology solutions for local nonprofits.

Business partners such as IT&S and Parallon Business Solutions provided nearly 30 skilled volunteers, Hands On Nashville lent a hand in the charge for recruiting front end designers and creative talent and Emma provided the space.

Why did we do this?

HCA has a tradition of supporting local nonprofits and other organizations that improve the community. Hack for the Community was our way of extending a different kind of support. Our world runs on technology but knowing how to make the most of the available tools can be daunting for anyone who isn’t familiar with the technology space. Fortunately, HCA has some of the best and brightest technical minds around so it made sense for us to organize an event that allowed us to help in a different way.

What were the results?

For Nashville Public Television, it meant a new blog to share the many stories of Nashville’s immigrant community with young and old.

For Progress and First Steps, it meant a new scheduling system for caseworkers and therapists that uses GPS to get them where they needed to be in the shortest time possible and insures a good fit between caregiver and client.

For Pearl Point, it meant a new web-based searchable way to give support and guidance to cancer patients and their families.

For the Nashville Symphony, it meant a way to integrate two disparate scheduling systems and help the symphony logistics sing in harmony

These are just a few examples of the solutions created for local non-profits by talented designers and developers with the guidance of trained project managers in 36 hours over 3 days. If you want even more info check out the live Twitter stream we had going with #h4tc.

As part of the closing ceremonies, HCA CIO Marty Paslick presented the Hackers Choice award to Junior Achievement.  Working together Junior Achievement staffers, the talented technology team created a new way to sign up, train and even evaluate the effectiveness of the new online training….saving unnecessary travel for the volunteers and weeks of administrative time for the staff.

And now, armed with new tools, these non-profits can be even more effective and efficient and focus on doing what they do best – serving our community.