TORONTO, ON – The annual Gift the Code Hackathon kicks off on Friday, November 3 and runs until Sunday, November 5. Building on the success of the inaugural Gift the Code 2016, Capital One Canada will again connect Toronto-based charities with UX/UI designers, coders and developers. In just 40 hours, over 150 participants passionate about problem solving will use digital for good by brainstorming, building and presenting technology solutions to solve specific digital challenges faced by the charities.

Technology is the ultimate connector in today’s digital world, with the potential to unite charitable organizations with more people than ever before. However, in an effort to divert as much funding as possible to those in need, charities often delay investing in digital development. This reliance on legacy systems and practices creates a digital divide between them and their stakeholders. Gift the Code aims to change this by connecting participating organizations with a pool of much-needed tech talent, showcasing the many possibilities for charities to leverage technology.

“Technologies are evolving exponentially, and charities without dedicated digital resources often get left behind, impacting their ability to efficiently provide support to where it’s needed most,” said Christina McClung, Vice President, Capital One Canada. “Through Gift the Code, we are taking meaningful action to help our charity partners bridge the digital divide, continue to expand and be better equipped for the future.”

The 40-hour coding sprint will showcase the talents of everyday volunteers and Capital One Canada associates as they break into teams to help identify digital solutions to challenges from six charitable organizations. On the evening of Friday, November 3, participants will form teams consisting of four to six experts at  Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, a historic building in downtown Toronto. All code created during the hackathon will be available open-source on public code repositories to provide other charities with the possibility to leverage and further develop the solutions.

“We are thrilled to participate in Gift the Code 2017. As the main resource for individuals on the spectrum and their families, we need to make accessing our vital information easier,” says Jeff Bomben, Communications Coordinator, Autism Ontario. “Our technology must be flexible and responsive to meet the growing needs of our community. We are looking forward to working with our outstanding teams and can’t wait to see the results.”

Charities supported during the Gift the Code Hackathon were selected based on their area of focus and accessibility to technology and innovation:

  • Kids Help Phone – Canada’s only national 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, Live Chat and information and referral service for young people.
  • The 519 – A leading LGBTQ community resource, advocating for the health, happiness and full participation of the community in Toronto and beyond.
  • Autism Ontario – The leading source of ASD information online and represents thousands of families across the province through 25 Chapters.
  • Indspire – Led by Indigenous people for Indigenous people, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education.
  • CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals – Advances the economic and social development of Toronto’s Black youth facing multiple barriers to employment.
  • Sistering – Guided by the principles of Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression, Sistering supports some of Toronto most marginalized women – often homeless or precariously housed – by offering practical and emotional support through programs and services that enable them to take greater control over their lives, and advocating to change the social conditions that endanger women’s lives.

To learn more about Gift the Code or to register as a participant, visit: giftthecode.ca.

About Capital One Canada

With offices in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Montreal, Capital One Canada has been offering Canadian consumers a range of competitive Mastercard credit cards since 1996. We challenge ourselves to see the world through the eyes of our customers, so we can deliver the market-leading credit products and exceptional service they’re looking for. Capital One Canada is a division of Capital One Bank, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia (NYSE: COF). To learn more, visit: www.capitalone.ca.

For further information: Sandra Decarvalho, Capital One Canada 416-549-2868, sandra.decarvalho@capitalone.com