Start a Chapter


Make a Mark chapters are run and coordinated by dedicated and passionate volunteers in their communities that believe in the power of design, creativity and technology for the nonprofit sector. We work directly with site leaders across the globe as they bring the 12-hour make-a-thon to their communities.

As we expand, we are determined to be intentional with the decisions that we make. Our make-a-thons are designed specifically for each locality with the idea in mind that a community should help define its unique needs.

If you are interested in taking the lead on bringing Make a Mark to your community, we would love to meet you! Feel free to read through the following FAQs about becoming a site leader and apply to start your own Make a Mark chapter.

What makes Make a Mark unique?

We’ve all heard of hack-a-thons and design marathons, but we are distinctly different. We are constantly driven by our purpose - to help people tell their stories through design, creativity and technology. All our decisions are extremely intentional and made with that foundation in mind. We refuse to stray from our purpose. The initial goal of our first make-a-thon was to work hard and give deserving nonprofits something that could push their programs forward. What actually came out of the event was so much more than that. What moved us was the community that was created between the makers and nonprofits.

What are the requirements to be a site leader?

We don’t require any certain career or educational background. We are simply looking for passionate individuals that are committed to their communities and see the value in design and technology for nonprofits. We look for individuals that may already be connected to the maker and/or nonprofit space in their communities, or are willing to jump in to make these connections.

We do require monthly video chats to stay in-tune with each chapter and to provide support. There are also some other guidelines that we ask site leaders to follow including length of event (12 hours) and naming convention (i.e. Make a Mark NYC Make-a-Thon).

Can I co-lead a chapter?

Yes, you can. We have some chapters with only one site leader, but also some with 2-3 site leaders. We like for any site leader collaborations to be mutually decided upon by the Make a Mark team and the co-site leaders.

What if I’m interested in just helping out?

If you don’t want to be a site leader, but want to help with planning, please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

What is the time commitment?

This varies depending on which stage of the process you are in, but I would plan on 10-20 hours each month at the beginning and up to 30 hours each month as the make-a-thon approaches.

What do you provide to site leaders?

Our biggest resource is our time. We have monthly video calls with each site leader, as well as additional emails and calls as needed. We also provide a robust field guide and resource kit including sample communication, budget concepts, templates, etc. Finally, but most importantly, we facilitate a community with a shared forum for all site leaders to communicate and collaborate.

Where does funding come from?

We believe in the importance of community involvement and support so each chapter is responsible for funding their own events. However, we are here to offer guidance and advice during the process.

Where do supplies come from?

Most supplies should be purchased at a chapter level, but if we are attending a make-a-thon, we are happy to bring along our banner and other branded supplies to support the event.

Just in case you don’t want to worry about organizing and ordering supplies, we have a simple order form where you can purchase a Make-a-Thon Starter Kit and the supplies will be delivered directly to you.

Do I need to create my own website, social media and branding?

No, Make a Mark manages the website, social media, blog and overall branding for each chapter. However, some chapters choose to do their own unique logo for their event, and we encourage this creativity.

Are there fees associated with being a site leader?

No. There are no fees or dues associated with applying for or becoming a site leader. This event is free for everyone (makers, nonprofits, volunteers, etc.) and supported by local sponsors.

Will I get paid as a site leader?

No, we do not pay site leaders.

Now that I’ve applied, what are the next steps?

We go through applications every few weeks and make sure to reply to all inquiries. If we are interested in moving forward, we will reach out to you to set up a video call to learn more about you.

Where do I apply?

You can access the application here.