PayPal today announced the success of Opportunity Hack – its first-ever charity hackathon in Ireland. The event, held at Dublin’s Castleknock Hotel, saw 15 teammates from PayPal’s offices in Dundalk and Blanchardstown build and develop digital resources for five Irish charities over a 24-hour period.

Led by Jonathan Davies, an Integrations and Optimisation Manager at PayPal, the tech specialists were a mix of computer programmers and those with expertise in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers. They were challenged to address five charities’ most pressing digital needs, enabling the non-profits to increase awareness and revenue potential.

The judging panel consisted of members of PayPal’s senior management in Ireland, Guy Thompson, General Manager of the Castleknock Hotel, and Tony Lambert, CEO of Fingal Chamber of Commerce. Prizes were awarded to the best projects delivered within the 24-hour hackathon, with the team behind The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation’s project winning the top spot. The PayPal techies built the charity, which provides funding for families of young children with brain damage, a bidding app that could be used for a public art auction.

The hackathon resulted in new websites for the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Dundalk Dog Rescue and BeLonG To, a non-profit for LGBT young people. PayPal teammates also helped Move4Parkinson’s digitise its dance classes and streamline its database.

Speaking about the hackathon, Maeve Dorman, PayPal’s new Head of Global Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “This latest charity initiative reflects our strong commitment to support the communities in which we operate. Our teammates in Ireland have great technical skills, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to apply them and address real problems for local charities.”

Hugo Jellett, CEO, Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, said: “To mark our 20th year helping children in every parish in Ireland, The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is embarking on an ambitious Public Art Project in partnership with PayPal. The project aims to raise an estimated €65,000 for the charity – and it will all revolve around our new bidding app, created by PayPal’s finest technical minds. Thanks to their brilliant work, we now have a clever, cogent and user-friendly digital gallery platform that will allow us to make this auction a success.”

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