PayPal hosts first ever virtual Hackathon in Ireland to solve digital challenges for seven Irish charities
17 Nov 2021
The event marked the first year the Hackathon was held virtually – bringing together 22 employees from 3 offices across Europe
Participating charities included Women’s Aid Dundalk, A Little Lifetime Foundation, ChildVision, Dundalk Dog Rescue, LGBT Ireland, Maria Goretti Foundation and Sonas

DUBLIN, 17 November 2021 – PayPal today announced the results of its 2021 Ireland Virtual Opportunity Hack. Founded and managed by PayPal employees, the fifth annual event brought together 22 PayPal employees across 3 offices to use their skills to help create new digital solutions for seven Irish charities.

For the first time, the event took place virtually. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was hosted on a digital collaboration platform that enabled PayPal participants and charity representatives to meet, work together closely and present their projects. The 24-hour Hackathon was spread out over four days from 1st-4th November.

Maeve Dorman Senior Vice President, Global Customer Success, Sales Operations and Enablement said “We’ve seen first-hand the critical role charities and nonprofits have played over this challenging and unprecedented period. The annual Hackathon is an opportunity for us to help support these important charities – and for us to give back to our local communities in Dublin and Dundalk. I’m proud of the flexibility, resilience and passion our employees have shown in transforming the Hackathon into a virtual event – and the way they have used their wealth of skills to help these charities to harness the potential of our increasingly digital world.”

A variety of projects were completed during the 24-hours that will help advance the charities’ work. The projects included:

  • A Little Lifetime Foundation, which provides support to parents whose baby has died around the time of birth, turned to the PayPal team to update their website with a registration system for events and add eCard and gift certificate functionality.
  • PayPal teammates worked together to develop an eCommerce feature that would allow ChildVision supporters donate therapy gifts, purchase products made on site by the students and buy a selection of toys for children with sight loss. ChildVision is Ireland’s only dedicated centre for children and young people with sight loss and additional disabilities
  • Dundalk Dog Rescue, a non-profit organisation dedicated to saving the lives of dogs who are set to be euthanised, joined forces with PayPal volunteers to redesign its website to bring better performance, accessibility and search optimisation.
  • A new donation section was added to the website of LGBT Ireland, a national organisation providing support and information on issues relating to sexuality and gender identity. The PayPal team also fixed issues with the site’s chat functionality and revamped the site’s design.
  • Maria Goretti Foundation, which operates a respite center in County Louth for children with Autism or disabilities, worked with PayPal to create a new donation section for their website and to implement a newsletter functionality.
  • Sonas is the largest provider of frontline services to women and children experiencing domestic abuse in the greater Dublin region. The PayPal team customised the Sonas website by building a training platform that enables the charity to deliver training online and adding a donation feature. The team also developed documentation of how to adjust the site so that the charity could make changes in the future.
  • Women’s Aid Dundalk, which provides refuge and support for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse / coercive control, collaborated with PayPal on a redesign of their current site and the development of a donation section.

Based on the criteria – technology, innovation, community impact, presentation and inspiration – the Women’s Aid Dundalk team was named the winner.

Cara Murphy, Support Co-ordinator with Women’s Aid Dundalk said: “We work with women and children who have experienced domestic abuse / coercive control – and have long recognised the need to invest in our digital presence and upgrade the online services we offer. Over 24 hours, the PayPal team redesigned our website to make it more user-friendly, increased our search engine optimisation and introduced a live chat function. These upgrades will help women and children to find and access our services with ease – increasing the impact we can have for our community and for those in need.”

Paula Fagan from LGBT Ireland said: “We were inspired by how the PayPal team worked seamlessly with our employees on redesigning key pages on our site. The improvements PayPal has made to our platform will allow for increased accessibility to service information and support us in growing our donation base which helps further our mission of improving the lives of LGBT+ people across Ireland.”

About PayPal 
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 400 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit paypal.com.

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