Event helping nonprofits boost their digital presence - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Event helping nonprofits boost their digital presence

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NORMAL, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

Professionals around central Illinois are building 48 websites in 48 hours for 48 nonprofits.

It is part of the 48in48 hack-a-thon event, happening at Rivian in Normal. 

48in48 is a national organization connecting local nonprofits and skilled marketing and technology professionals. The goal is to help nonprofits enhance their presence online. 

President of United Way of McLean County, David Taylor, said nonprofits are often focused on the work they are doing, and may not have the time, resources or staff to support website development. 

48in48 partnered with United Way of McLean County and State Farm to help 48 nonprofits across central Illinois. 

Nonprofits get free website development valued at $30,000 and learn marketing strategies from around 200 volunteers. 

"You know, it's a great way to one, take advantage of the talent we have in this area. So there is a kind of large IT footprint in central Illinois and it's a good way to give back," said CJ Warne, one of the volunteers. 

"Hey, instead of just doing this in my job every day, I can do this and really benefit the community," stated Taylor. 

Holly Hedges is with Pet Central Helps and said this event is a game changer. 

"It's critical to our success but we haven't have the time or the expertise to do that. So having this is such a weight lifted off of our shoulder," said Hedges. 

"And they may be able to tap into a larger virtual presence of people that want to support the good work they are doing," added Taylor. 

Taylor also said having a website helps tell a compelling story and let's people know about the mission and purpose of an organization. 

The weekend-long event provides trainings to those nonprofits so they can keep running their websites effectively after the build is over. Those fresh websites will be unveiled in a ceremony Sunday. 

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