Are you a non-profit in Philadelphia looking to expand your technical capacity? We’d love to discuss your needs, and how we can support you.

Are you a volunteer, with an idea for a Code for Philly project? Awesome! Before you go and add it to the projects list, there are some things you should consider. A Code for Philly project:

…is for the public good

  • Some Code for Philly projects work with public data; some are done in partnership with nonprofits or city government; some just help Philadelphians out in ways big and small. All of them, however, are oriented toward helping members of the public rather than generating a profit.

  • There are great ways that for-profit companies can be involved with Code for Philly activities. Pro-bono work by for-profit companies on civic technology is welcome. Companies offering tools that can be used by our community to build apps for social good - if you’re a company interested in sponsoring a hack night or other event and presenting to our members, please contact us.

  • However, asking volunteers to work for free on for-profit projects is never okay at Code for Philly events.

…is open-source and available to the public

  • The source code and output of your project must be available to the public at no cost. Source code can be hosted on Github or another hosting site, and your Code for Philly project page should include a link to the source. Apps or websites should provide a link to to the Code for Philly project page or to the source directly.
  • Github has a great guide to open-source licensing that can help you out, or if you’re not sure, feel free to ask us! Officially open-sourcing a project is really easy and takes just a couple of minutes.

  • Code for Philly usually suggests the MIT license for civic tech projects because it’s very simple and places few limits on code re-use. If you prefer another open-source license such as Apache or the GPL, they’re fine too, and of course you can always simply declare your code to be in the public domain.

…does not violate our Code of Conduct

  • The Code of Conduct asks everyone at Code for Philly events to be respectful of one another and inclusive.

…is not political or partisan

  • Code for Philly is an affiliate of Code for America, a non-partisan, non-political 501(c)(3) organization. We do not support or endorse specific parties or candidates, and cannot host projects which do.

My project might fall outside these guidelines. Does that mean I can’t work on it at Code for Philly?

  • There’s a reason we call these “guidelines” and not “rules.” For the most part, we’re more concerned with the spirit of these guidelines and not the strict wording. If you think your project might be an exception, please feel free to contact us or speak to a staff member at a hack night to discuss your idea.

Ready for more? We recommend checking out our Projects 101 github repository where you’ll find resources to support your civic hacking efforts. If you’re new to volunteering or creating your own project, please check out our Projects 101 Blueprint slides.

Have a question about something on this page? Ideas on how to improve it? Email us!