PayPal Techies Get Behind Charity Hackathon

1st December 2017

Posted In: FYI

Last month, PayPal hosted Opportunity Hack, its charity hackathon event, which brought together 30 PayPal teammates to create and develop digital resources and systems for Irish charities over a 24-hour period.

Led by Jonathan Davies, Manager of Small Business Integrations and Optimisations at PayPal, the teammates were drawn from various disciplines including coding, software development, customer support, risk and compliance. They were tasked with working with the charities to develop solutions for their most pressing digital needs.

The team behind Chifundo, a charity dedicated to the education of some of the most underprivileged children in the villages of Zomba in Malawi, claimed the number one spot. The PayPal techies helped to create an online shop for the organisation to enable it to sell Malawi crafts brought back to Ireland by volunteers, the proceeds of which will be donated directly to the school. They also made it user-friendly so that Chifundo can update it easily.

Second place went to Pieta House, founded by Joan Freeman, which helps those in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm. It was provided with an app allowing community centres to streamline the registration and payment system for its Darkness Into Light event, thus saving the charity 5,000 volunteer hours, allowing it to gather information on participants and eliminating the handling of over €1.5m in cash.

Junior Achievement Ireland, an organisation that encourages and supports young people to remain in education, and Outreach Moldova, which is dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable children in the Republic of Moldova, took joint third. Junior Achievement Ireland collaborated with PayPal to develop an integrated CRM system to digitise materials used in the classroom. Outreach Moldova’s collaboration resulted in a new online ticketing service to make it easier for people to purchase tickets for its dinner and lunch events.

Speaking about the hackathon, Maeve Dorman said: “At PayPal, we are committed to giving back to the local community where we do business. It’s been fantastic to see our team joining forces with local charities to tackle their digital challenges, and come up with solutions that can make a tangible difference to their work. “It is a tremendous event for all involved. Not only do the charities benefit but PayPal teammates get a great sense of achievement out of applying their expertise to new challenges. Now in its second year, the Opportunity Hack 2.0 has made a significant impact already and helps to address important issues such as social inclusion, education and wellness.”

Pictured: Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Merchant Operations EMEA, PayPal