Serving others comes as natural to John Caldwell as breathing. Inspired at an early age through his Boy Scout troop he is quick to answer the call for help. He’s participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Relay, donated his hair to Locks of Love and raised $2K dollars for the American Cancer Society after a loved one received a breast cancer diagnosis.
So when a friend approached him about reviving an event that paired developers with nonprofits, he didn’t hesitate and jumped at the chance. For Caldwell, who is Creative Director for MarksNelson’s Smart Technology Division, it paired his passion with his profession.
“Similar events focus more on developers. Cody Inman and I wanted to widen the reach and include web design and marketing,” Caldwell said. “Compile KC is a way to give back to the nonprofits which serve Kansas City. It’s the bridge which provides access to free resources.”
Last weekend eight nonprofits and a team of volunteers went to work at Plexpod in the Crossroads District updating and building websites, tackling SEO, social media and improving branding.
Most of the organizations either didn’t have a website or updating the site was difficult or nearly impossible. Volunteers were able to provide direction and give them confidence and a sense of legitimacy.
“Thanks to Compile KC they can focus on what they do best, giving back and helping others,” Caldwell said.
Launched in 2018, Compile KC doubled the impact for 2019, and both Caldwell and Inman are looking to expand the nonprofit even further. Their goal is to build a network for smaller nonprofits across the nation to access marketing and technology resources daily while still holding the annual event. Nonprofits interested in participating in Compile KC 2020 can fill out applications on the organization's website starting this fall.
What’s even more rewarding for Caldwell and the volunteers is the pay it forward movement that’s coming out the event. One of the nonprofits from 2018 became a mentor for a young man starting a catering business. When Caldwell and Iman found out, they hired him to provide food for the weekend.
“It’s awesome to witness the lasting impact taking place over the course of a weekend,” Caldwell said.