Everything, or at least most of what you need to know about 8-i.
What is 8 hours' overtime for a good cause?
8 Hours' Overtime for a Good Cause is an international event in which young creatives (as in the young at heart and creative, flexible thinkers) donate time and energy to help out charities by solving a problem or meeting a challenge within the communication field. In eight hours time teams in cities around the world consisting of five members and an experienced mentor work for a single cause. All you need is a fitting location, food, drinks and an internet connection so creatives can put their talents to their best use!
8-i is short for 8 Hours' Overtime for a Good Cause International.
What are the origins of 8-i?
The project started out in 2004 as an initiative from Nieuwe Garde, a group of young creatives from the north of the Netherlands. It was a collaboration of several young minds who dedicated their free time to bring creatives together and meet each other by doing. At first time it was semi-frequently organized and since some years the annual date has been the last Friday of March (except for eastern). In the Netherlands people from all the major cities join every year, in 2012 the worldwide edition was a first with a total of 18 cities.
Why do you do this?
Young creative people will have a great evening, a story to share and some additions to their portfolios. It is a very interesting way to meet new friends, broaden their networks and do something good. Charities and NGO's will donations in the form of great products, ideas or concepts instead of money.
Great idea! I’m in. Where can I donate 8 hours of my free time?
Find your city in the list of participating cities of next year and contact your local organizer.
I’m not young and/or I’m not creative. Can i still participate?
I’d like to support the people that are doing this. Can I sponsor?
8-i aims to be an open source, closed wallet, bottom up event. Sponsoring is more than welcome but mostly in goods. Please contact the local organizers in your area and arrange things with them directly.
I’m a representative of a charity or an NGO that could use some creative help. Help?
Please contact the local organizers in your area and arrange things with them directly.
Can I organize 8-i in my city?
Yes you can. If you decide you want to do this, please fill out the form so your city will be listed here on 8-i.org. Also, you probably don’t want to do this all by yourself. Therefore, see the next question.
Do I need to form a team to organize 8-i?
Probably. 8-i is a great excuse to do a project with cool and inspiring people! Spread the word and invite friends and inspiring organizers from your city for a kick-off meeting. The kick-off could be a good starting point to find out what needs to be done for your 8 hours overtime session. Explain what you want to do, brainstorm and divide tasks. Make sure to keep in touch throughout the whole process.
What are the most important things to do while organizing?
Basic necessities and suggested order of things to do:
- Form a team (3-4 people is enough, but Matthias basically did it by himself in Münster) and build a plan together.
- Find a location. (you probably want to know this soon so your invitation is complete and it helps set your to do list)
- Invite charities to come up with a fitting challenge. Work with them to make this as clear and achievable as possible.
- Gather about 5 creative minds per challenge.
- Arrange catering (usually this follows location).
- Get results!
Do you have any more advice for us organizers?
A basic cookbook has been put together to get you started, but don’t hesitate to share your ideas and tips! You’ll find some suggestions and examples for:
- Promotional text to find charities
- Promotional text to find participants
- Example press release
- Charity letter of intent
David Bakker (2012 coordinator in Groningen, The Netherlands) shared his experiences: This PDF mind map is a treasure trove of wisdom and experience, it might be a bit overwhelming but really helps to get a feeling for the things you -could- be doing next. And, he also made a 5 minute video with some personal experiences and tips.
What about branding?
There is no real formal branding for 8 hours overtime in a good cause but there are some things that help putting something together. The main branding is the translated version of the project name:
- 8 hours overtime for a good cause
- ساعات من الوقت الاضافى من أجل العمل الخيرى
- 8 Überstunden für einen guten Zweck
- 8 heures supplémentaires pour la bonne cause
- 8 horas extra para un buen fin
- 8 horas extras por uma boa causa
- 8 Uur Overwerken voor het Goede Doel
There is also a logo. You can download and modify it using the logo generator here: http://8-i.org/logo/
Ain’t that name a bit long?
Yep. I'ts a lot of letters if you use the full title, but that's kind of the point. The sentence resonates with a lot of people already. 8 hours overtime is not a lot of fun per se. But if it's in a good cause, that chances things. The purpose is clear immediately!
If the name does not fit and you feel the need to use a shorter text, please use the hashtag. #8i<year> (#8i2013, #8i2014, #8i2015, ...) is short, clear and very well 'Googleable'. In 2013 we started using 8i (8... international, due to the growing amount of participating international cities.
Can we do it differently?
Sure! Every place or cause needs different things, so feel free and inspired to do so!
Use the name, do it on the date, share what you’re doing, and you’re probably fine. Please tell us about you results, so we can share new ideas.
What about money?
Usually it’s easier to just leave money out of the equation, sponsoring is more than welcome but mostly in goods. Managing money (even in small amounts) often results in a hassle. Sometimes it’s easier to have a commercial caterer, you could then ask a sponsor company if you can send them the bill. In the past this worked out great and is a great way to keep everyone focussed on the event itself.
How to select charities and NGO’s?
Whether it is a global cause or a local school that needs your help, it is your connection to the project that makes this work. The size or scale of the cause is not important, your enthusiasm is. So invite or select a charity that is needed or where you can put your talents and skills to work. Do make sure both parties are committed, you can use the letter of intent for that.
Whenever in doubt, always ask some people for advice. After all: it’s ‘better to be safe than sorry’!
How to keep it fun?
A good location helps, but of course it’s the people who make it. So choose co-organizers that are inspiring and fun to be with. And during the night: good food is a must. A vitamin rich mid-night snack does wonders for the atmosphere! Or a Harlem Shake with all participants like in Utrecht (NL) in 2013:
Share, share, share. Share your pictures, movies and stories online. Share your experiences amongst your peers and share the project with other cities! Share the results the teams created and the charities’ responses, that keeps everybody motivated for next year!
In order to be able to share as much as possible there are a few things that are wise/relatively mandatory. Use the hashtag #8i<year> (#8i2013, #8i2014, #8i2015) and the name of your city (#nyc, #berlin, #appelscha). Everyone will be able to see what you guys have been doing and how it looked.
- If you put pictures online do it on a Flickr account, that works quite well.
- If you put video online do it on Vimeo, the best one is our experience.
The things you do not put on the internet and still want to share; send with (for example) Wetransfer.com to email@example.com. Or share a Dropbox folder with firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Facebook seems great but is kind of a black hole, it’s really hard to see stuff to view it later. So if you upload to Facebook it’s handy to upload to Flickr/Vimeo as well to increase visibility.
Who is organizing this?
8 hours overtime in a good cause has no formal organization and 8-i is not an organization. It’s just a couple of people who think it’s a good idea to spread the word about this project. Besides all the local organizers, the most active overhead or cheerleaders of 8-i have been: Sarah Westenburg, Nynke Vos and Herman Kopinga with support from Wouter Groenewold and Matthias Held.
My question is not yet answered, what should I do?
Luckily there are a bunch of people with 8-i.org experience willing to help out! You can find them on the 8-i.org group on Facebook, which was set up to discuss organizing 8-i.org. So please join to ask your question and share experiences. For important questions, e-mail works best.
Header picture by RTV Oost: 8-i 2011 in Museum TwentseWelle in Enschede, The Netherlands.