Give Camp Gave BCC a Tech Boost

Volunteers set up camp at Microsoft's New England headquarters for Give Camp festivities

Last week Brookfield Craft Center spent 48 hours in the hands of technologically inclined volunteers at Microsoft’s New England Research and Development (NERD) in Cambridge, MA during New England Give Camp. Professional designers, developers, database administrators, marketers and web strategists aided New England-based non-profit organizations and charities in advancing their web presence, social networking capabilities and internal electronic operations. In today’s digital age, non-profits will collapse without information technology support for fundraising, marketing and communication efforts, yet dedicating funds to maintaining and upgrading IT solutions remains a low priority when planning budgets to support an organization’s mission. Over the course of one weekend, and with the commitment of 120 volunteers, Give Camp propelled the impact of fledgling foundations, while saving others from the brink of extinction.

New calendar's monthly view of classes showing sample data
New calendar's list view of classes showing sample data
New calendar's subscription feature with sample data

Project manager Alyissa Dzaugis and software specialists Molly Duggan, Joan Wortman, Maura Wilder and Bill Wilder joined BCC Education Director Heather Lawless to hack apart a calendar plugin for to accommodate the scheduling needs of the school. Round the clock troubleshooting took periodic breaks for power naps in tents and sleeping bags on NERD’s conference room floors. The end result was an unforgettable experience with some incredible people, and a class calendar that will revolutionize how students plan their enrollments in BCC classes.

The calendar is currently undergoing final revisions before its release to the BCC community. Students, teachers, event attendees, open studio participants and BCC staff can look forward to monthly, weekly and daily views of activity in all BCC studios and galleries, filtered by media and interests. The BCC community will also have the opportunity to subscribe to calendars through iCal, Google Calendar and other productivity applications for instant updates on new class offerings. We will announce when the calendar goes live online in the coming weeks.

Many thanks to New England Give Camp organizers for the opportunity, to our talented team members for delivering a successful project, and to BCC jewelry instructor Rachel Morris for her own Give Camp volunteerism and helping us integrate our current technology into the new calendar web feature.


Volunteers in action in Microsoft's creative workspaces


Group shot of all New England Give Camp 2012 volunteers and non-profit representatives