Starting Feminist Hack in Your City
Love the idea of Feminist Hack? You can create fantastic feminist community in your city! Feminist Hack is run by passionate volunteers who are committed to building a better tech industry for women—and therefore, for everyone. If you’re interested in starting Feminist Hack in your city, it’s because you believe in what we stand for and are invested in bringing together people of all genders who share the same values.
Each Feminist Hack chapter is independent, unaffiliated with any other organizations.
If you want to start Feminist Hack in your city, you have our blessing! Starting small is great — just a gathering of a few people over coffee is a wonderful starting-place. At the first Feminist Hack open coffee, we put up a small sign on our table, and many strangers wandered over to find out what we were all about! The fun part is that lots of those folks wound up becoming regular members of the group. We ask that you make everyone feel welcome and encourage everyone to share their stories.
Leading a local chapter
Leading a chapter is an amazing responsibility. You’ll make a huge impact on yourself and others in your community, and you’ll gain some great leadership skills.
Your role is to:
- Facilitate conversation. Help people feel more comfortable; introduce ground rules; invite people to share how they heard about the group and what drew them to it.
- Show commitment; be consistent. Creating community requires consistency and good communication. Schedule regular events so folks know what to expect.
- Be generous; assume best intentions. Work to create space for uncomfortable conversations and encourage others to contribute to creating that space, as well. Invite people to be vulnerable and listen with open hearts and minds.
- Encourage input. Everyone has something wonderful to contribute, if you only invite them to be part of what you’re building. Resist any temptation to make your local chapter a one-person show. Create opportunities for people to help shape the vision and agenda for the group.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. If another organization in your town already hosts a particular type of event (hack nights or technical lightning talks, for example)—please don’t duplicate efforts by hosting one yourself! Find what’s missing in your community and attempt to fill in those gaps. We’ve learned that opportunities for conversation about these issues are often sorely needed, and other tech-focused groups aren’t necessarily well-equipped to host such conversations. This is your chance to shine! Offer folks the opportunity to be part of something new.
You are in charge of all the details of your local chapter, including:
- Securing a venue
- Determining the structure of each meetup
- Finding sponsors to help cover any costs
- Building and leading the local team
- Marketing for the meetings
Make the event as accessible as possible. Feel free to meet in public spaces or ask venues if they would be open to donating the space. Folks can often cover their own cost for a coffee or a drink if you meet at a public cafe or bar. Otherwise, charge a small ticket fee to cover your costs and lower the number of no-shows. Reach out to local companies to request their sponsorship to cover costs and donate space.
Each chapter covers their own costs, including Meetup costs, usually through local sponsors and occasionally ticket sales. All local event and sponsorship money stays with the chapter. Some chapters establish organizations (LLCs or non-profits) to keep finances in order or apply for certain types of funding.