This week we’re starting a brand new tradition at Code for Fort Collins: our annual fundraising drive. Why fundraise? So we’re better able to cover our incidental costs. Things like food, SaaS plans we need, and paying rent for a meeting space. Remember, Code for Fort Collins is a completely volunteer organization, and that donations to us (through Code for America, more on that tomorrow) are completely tax deductible. There’s a real 501(c)3 here 🤓
We’ll be emailing daily this week to highlight who we are, what we’ve done, and how you can help.
And if you’re not busy, we want to see you in person! We will be at Odell from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday April 27th. If you’re not busy that afternoon, we’d love to see you and chat about Code for Fort Collins. (Or anything else you’d like to chat about that’s within our Code of Conduct. This doesn’t need to be a single-purpose afternoon.)
What is Code for Fort Collins?
Code for Fort Collins (CFFC) is a technology meetup group. But we’re more than that: we’re a volunteer team that’s trying to improve Fort Collins and serve the citizens of northern Colorado. We do that through using our technology, design, marketing, and other skills. But we’re also giving our time and energy.
Code for Fort Collins is supported in this mission by Code for America. Code for America is a non-profit that builds technology tools for governments (you may have heard of Clear My Record or CalFresh) and organizes a brigade program. CFFC is a Code for America brigade.
Code for America serves as CFFC’s “fiduciary,” which is a fancy way to say they manage our money. They handle our donations, reimburse us for expenses, and also make sure that we’re using donated money on reasonable things (technology, food for meetings, etc) and not, say, a ski pass for me.
Members of Code for Fort Collins return becuase they care about the community. They make friends, learn things, and generally do it for love. But they’d love CFFC a little more with dinner during meetings. And if they could have a little less logistical complexity figuring out how to budget for simple thing like web hosting for projects. That’s what this fundraising drive is about.
The Great Work We’ve Done
We want to explain some of the work that the Code for Fort Collins brigade has done in the last year that you may not know about. We think there’s some really cool stuff here, and we’ve spent a lot of time on it.
First, we’ve got a project we’re (finally) just about done with, Solar Scorecard. Solar Scorecard uses the Fort Collins OpenData portal to find out about solar installations in the city, then map and chart how we’re doing relative to Boulder, and the city’s energy plans.
Next, the Homeward 2020 Data Dashboard. This project continues to evolve having “graduated” from Code for Fort Collins. But in it we were able to help the inter-agency task force first bring the data to the public. Here’s what Holly had to say about that:
Code for Fort Collins was instrumental in getting the Long-term Homeless Data Dashboard built and beta tested. They were great partners, hard and responsive workers, and we couldn’t have gotten this vital tool to the community without their technical assistance. It was one of our most proud accomplishments in 2018, and we’re so grateful they made the development and launch possible.
Finally, we want to highlight a project we’re still working on. In collaboration with the Poudre Fire Authority, we’re making it easy for fire fighters (who are the front lines to many citizen’s interactions with quasi-government figures) to better connect people with free resources in the city. Things like heating assistance, wheelchairs, mental health aid and more are offered freely to many of our citizen. By better connecting these first-responders to knowledge and access to these services, we’re hopeful that non-emergency situations can lead to a better connected city (well, technically, fire district).
How You Can Help
Hopefully by now we’ve convinced you that Code for Fort Collins is a good organization doing good things in the city. If that’s the case, we hope you’re also thinking “how can I help further this worthy work?”
There are many ways. The biggest reason we’re writing today is the most concrete: you can donate funds to our cause. It’s pretty simple, you’ll just click the link, and Code for America will make sure we spend your tax-deductible donation responsibly. Here’s the link: https://tinyurl.com/CFFCDonate
If money’s not what you’ve got to give, we’d also love your help in other ways. Primarily, you can either join our team or share knowledge of our work with interested people. We’re always looking for both new projects and new volunteers. If you’d like to know more about either, join us on Meetup or get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Call, We’ll See You At the Party
If we’ve convinced you that Code for Fort Collins is an organization worth your dollars, please give at https://tinyurl.com/CFFCDonate
And please consider joining us at Odell on Saturday April 27th from 2pm to 4pm. We’ll just be hanging out, chatting with folks like you about technology, the movies, and our great northern Colorado climate. It’ll be a fun and easy time.
We hope to see you then! (You’ll find me as a 5’11” bald man in a Code for America jacket and wearing, holding, and/or standing near a Code for Fort Collins sign.)
The Code for Fort Collins Brigade
PS: Want to keep up with what we’re doing? Sign up to our email list. We’ll just use it for periodic updates (like what you just read): Subscribe to stay up to date!