PayPal hackathon helps six Irish charities solve digital challenges

PayPal held its third annual charity hackathon – Opportunity Hack – this week in Dublin.

The charity hackathon brought together employees from eight different PayPal offices, including Dublin, Dundalk, Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Paris, challenging them to come up with innovative and creative solutions to digital problems faced by six Irish charities.

Led by Jonathan Davies, EMEA Mid-Market and Small Business Manager at PayPal, employees from various disciplines were divided into teams and paired with one of the six Irish charities to solve their most pressing digital needs.

The judging panel consisted of senior directors of PayPal, Anthony Rafferty and Mairead Mcllkenny, Technology Editor at the Sunday Business Post, Emmet Ryan, General Manager of Castleknock Hotel, Guy Thompson, and CEO of the Fingal Chamber of Commerce, Anthony Cooney.

Teammates had just 24 hours to solve the challenges with Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) named the overall winner.

The team developed an online system for processing grant applications. This new system allows applicants to apply for grants via online forms and and enables the Irish Youth Foundation to maintain, filter and notify applicants.

It also allows the team to create reports and prevents them from having to process everything manually.

Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants & Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation, said, “Developing a bespoke CSR platform to manage our grants of programmes has been one of our key strategic priorities for the last two years but the two key stumbling blocks were the cost and secondly the time to invest in setting one up.

“Over two days an incredible team from PayPal created an unbelievable platform for us which will save us administrative time and resources and enable us to use this time to develop more funding opportunities.”

Other organisations which benefited from the hackathon included he Alzheimer Society of Ireland, ALONE, Down Syndrome Ireland, Focus Ireland and Child Vision who had websites designed, digital payment platforms established,and mobile apps created, among other digital resources and systems.

Anthony Rafferty, Director of EMEA Merchant Operations, PayPal added, “At PayPal, we are passionate about giving back to the wider community and supporting our teammates in their careers. We want to help everyone reap the benefits of technology and that is what the hackathon is all about.

“It is testament to both our people and the community around us,” he concluded.