Volunteer Coding for Non Profits - Opportunity Hack

Connect, Build, and Empower organizations to change lives across the world.

Our 5th annual Opportunity Hack will open at 8:00 a.m. on October 19th.


At Opportunity Hack, you can network, share ideas and build solutions that enable impact and social innovation!  Join a team that will hack solutions for any of the problem statements listed by our partnering non-profits!


Check in will be from 8:00 until 9:00. Please note that ONLY THE FIRST 200 will be allowed to enter the door.

At 9:00 we'll have our opening keynote speaker.

Then the fun begins! Our non-profits will all have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to all the participants. We'll be moving this along quickly so that we can move into team building. You can bring a whole team, but if you don't, we're pretty good at facilitating team formation. This is the part of the program that people tend to be the most nervous about, but it all works out. We've done it successfully a number of times and we'll make sure you get hooked up.

9:30 a.m. Non-profits pitch their problem statements to hackers.

11:00 a.m. It's time to get your Hack On! You have from now until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday! We're providing meals and snacks and support around the clock.

3:00 p.m. on Sunday it's time to let the keyboard rest. You'll want to have your prototype and presentation ready for a three minute presentation to the judges with some Q&A. There will be a brief intermission for scoring and then the top teams will be chosen and accolades will flow! This will mark the end of the event and the beginning of the celebration, where we will also provide appropriate supplies.


Detailed Agenda

Saturday (10/19)

  • 08:00AM: Doors open for check-in
  • 08:10AM: Breakfast
  • 09:00AM: Opening ceremony
  • 09:30AM: Non-profits pitch their problems to hackers
  • 10:30AM: Team formation
  • 11:00AM: The Hackathon begins!
  • Noon: Lunch is served
  • 02:00PM: Submit team details
  • 06:00PM: Dinner is served

Sunday (10/20)

  • Midnight: Pizza served
  • 08:00AM:Breakfast is served & Subject matter experts available (3 hours)
  • Noon: Lunch is served / I can’t think straight but this tastes awesome!
  • 02:00PM: Code checked into GitHub
  • 02:45PM: Presentations submitted on DevPost
  • 03:00PM: Hackathon ends
  • 03:15PM: Judging - Round 1 (science fair style)
  • 04:30PM: Judging - Round 2 (top projects present to crowd)
  • 05:00PM: Winners are announced / Prizathon!
  • 05:30PM: You’ve survived… let’s celebrate!


Find out more about Opportunity Hack 20142015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and some of the success stories here.  We also are tracking all non-profits we've worked with in our GitHub.



  • Galvanize
  • Motion Recruitment
  • GoDaddy
  • Tech Talent South
  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Keap



Troy Pottgen was a mentor for Opportunity Hack last year, is a pretty good husband, dad and writer/producer with two decades of experience helping brands share their stories. Troy earned degrees in Business at Illinois and Copywriting at Miami Ad School. He is a two-time recipient for Copywriter of the Year, a nominee for Creative Director of the Year and winner of Best in Show at the Phoenix ADDYs, and his work has been featured in Communication Arts, the One Show and Art Directors Club of NY. He once claimed to watch 100 movies and read 100 books a year until his wife's meticulous documentation in 2012 proved otherwise. Through his volunteer work, Troy tries to live the words of Marian Wright Edelman: “Service is the rent we pay for being.” If you ever greet him with, “Hey TP, I love NARWHAL," he’ll buy you a coffee.




Judge Biographies

Wes Hummel, Vice President, Infrastructure and Site Reliability Engineering at PayPal


Wes Hummel is the VP of Infrastructure and Site Reliability Engineering at PayPal. He and his team partner with Customer Support, Merchant Technical Support, Product Development, and other teams in PayPal to ensure customers have the best possible experiences. After spending over two decades in software development, technical operations, and leading teams, Wes knows how to deliver high quality software and solutions that delight customers - by understanding what problems they are trying to solve and how they run their businesses and lives. Wes joined PayPal from Clarity Communications Inc, a telecommunications start-up, where he was a software engineer, architect, tester, project manager, release engineer, and any other role the small startup needed.  Prior to working at Clarity, Wes worked at Motorola developing software in their Cellular Infrastructure Group. Wes holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. 


Madhan Raja, Director of Software Engineering at Keap (formerly Infusionsoft )


Madhan Raja has 19 years of experience in leadership, development, testing, and managing software projects. He has a BE in Computer Science and MBA in Software Systems, and has managed teams of 20-40 people in both product and project based environments. His expertise is in banking, telecommunications, healthcare, and most recently the small business space, where he works at Keap as a Director of Software Engineering.


Isac Artzi, PhD, Associate Professor & Computer Science Program Lead at Grand Canyon University, College of Science, Engineering, and Technology


Dr. Artzi teaches upper level Computer Science courses in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics, Mathematical Modeling, MBA, and MIS courses. He mentors senior capstone projects and conducts research on adaptive algorithms, machine learning, and virtual reality. Dr. Artzi's career spans 30 years in industry, research, military training, and international travel. Dr. Artzi's achievements include his Lynda.com C Programming class with over 1,200,000 student views in 142 countries, two software patents with Silicon Valley startup AppStream (acquired by Symantec), satellite-based distance learning systems in Israel (Gilat Satellite, Ltd), and published research in educational technology at Michigan State University. He holds a dual BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Ben Gurion University in Israel, an MS in Computer Science from Michigan State University, a PhD in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from combined Michigan State University and Capella University programs, and a Data Science Specialization Certificate from Johns Hopkins University. 


Stephen Schmall, Team Manager at Job Spring Partners


Stephen Schmall is a Team Manager with Jobspring Partners, an IT staffing agency with offices throughout the US and Canada. With 4 years of experience vetting and placing software engineers who specialize in Java, .NET, and JavaScript, Stephen is a subject matter expert in his field and a leader in the space. He recently transferred from the Los Angeles chapter and now manages a specialized IT staffing services team in Phoenix.


Greg Testo, Lead instructor at Tech Talent South


Greg Testo is the lead instructor for Tech Talent South and teaches Full Stack Web Development with an emphasis on Javascript and Java. He is an experienced teacher and mentor for aspiring web developers, having previously taught Javascript at General Assembly. Throughout his career, he has shaped his programming expertise through working in the marketing and education industries; he has specialized in a diversity of frameworks —ReactJS, SpringBoot, PHP, Rails. Greg is also a maker at heart. He has a passion for all things Artificial Intelligence and Internet Of Things, so he spends his personal time building projects integrating embedded electronics and computer vision. In a previous life, Greg lived and worked in Brazil as a professional photographer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Rollins College. 


Jason Riedel, CoFounder and CTO at Aspireship


Jason is the Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at Aspireship, a startup focused on building an online platform that pre-trains people for high-paying business careers in the modern workforce. Jason has over two decades of experience in various technology positions and prior to launching Aspireship Jason built and managed world-class engineering teams at PayPal, eBay and Symantec. 


Nikhil Lohia, Senior Software Engineer at GoDaddy, Inc.


Nikhil has been a software developer for 5 years; the last 2 years with GoDaddy.  He obtained his graduate degree from ASU in Computer Science in 2017. Nikhil is on the appservices team and is working on the Hadoop team and Application encryption library. His team recently open sourced this at the AWS re:inforce event in Boston. He currently works on the following technologies:  JAVA/C#/Go/Python/Hadoop/Docker



No money is ever exchanged between PayPal and any other sponsor. The sponsor has complete control of their award to the winners.  The following items can be combined together to suit the sponsor.

  1. Participating enterprise provides an award for the participant(s). A minimum of one winning team of 3-5 team members. Can be cash or non-cash.
  2. Provide a senior leader to participate on Sunday afternoon for the judging and award distribution.
  3. Co-branding of the event with company logos, collaboration in organizing the event, and NPO selection.
  4. Participating enterprise provides IT professional staff to mentor the participants in delivering the technical solutions during the 36 hour event.  Mentors with various backgrounds of: software engineering, marketing, design, finance, legal, product management, project management are encouraged to participate.
  5. Recruiting and SWAG distribution is permitted in a designated area during the hackathon.


View full rules

How to enter

  1. Join Opportunity Hack Arizona on DevPost
  2. Come to the event with a team or we will help you build a team of like minded folks. 


Wes Hummel

Wes Hummel
Vice President, Infrastructure and Site Reliability Engineering at PayPal

Isac Artzi, PhD

Isac Artzi, PhD
Associate Professor & Computer Science Program Lead at Grand Canyon University, College of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Stephen Schmall

Stephen Schmall
Team Manager with Jobspring Partners

Greg Testo

Greg Testo
Lead Java/JavaScript Instructor at Tech Talent South

Jason Riedel

Jason Riedel
CoFounder and CTO at Aspireship

Nikhil Lohia

Nikhil Lohia
Senior Software Engineer at GoDaddy, Inc.

Madhan Raja

Madhan Raja
Director of Software Engineering at Keap(Infusionsoft)

Judging Criteria

  • Common Export/Import Format
    (5pts) How easy is it to export/import the data within your system as a CSV? Common data format (CSV) so that it can be easily exported and imported Why CSV? Single most popular database in the world, ensures portability between other systems
  • Scope of Solution
    (10pts) How big an impact will your solution have on the community? 1. Scale of the problem? 2. Productivity gain? 3. Complexity of problem 4. Has it been done before? 5. Alternative solution? 6. Does it solve the problem?
  • Documentation
    (10pts) Good documentation on how to use and setup their system 1. Is there Instructable-level documentation? 2. Is the product easy to use? Is the UI simple/beautiful? 3. Is it easy to understand/navigate through the product?
  • Polish
    (20pts) 1. How much work is left? 2. Is this a prototype or a working solution? 3. Can NPOs utilize the solution tomorrow? 4. Auto-deploy capability (e.g. one-click deploy from Heroku) 5. Can this solution be used by more than 1 NPO?
  • Security
    (10pts) Did you consider security? Implements OWASP TOP 10 mitigation strategies Does it use modern security principals? (authentication and authorization layers, JWT, MFA)
  • (10pts) Keap Prize: Keepin it Simple Software Engineering
    Anticipate the needs of the user and automating the jobs they need done. 1. How complex was the initial problem 2. Were the user options predicted through data and automated 3. How much time were you able to save users 4. How intuitive was the solution


  • Social Good