PLAY ON: When Music, Charity, and No-Code Collide

PlayOn live event grapic

At the end of a tough year, we’re excited to share Unqork’s partnership with Sixdegrees.Org, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and WhyHunger to put on a spectacular music event that will support lasting change in communities around America. 

At Unqork, we’re fortunate enough to spend our days empowering organizations to approach problems with a sense of optimism and imagine new possibilities in development. However, 2020 has tested everyone’s capacity for optimism.

At the end of a hard year, we wanted to close out on a high note. We’re honored to offer our capabilities to amazing organizations that strive to help others—and that, in turn, also push us to imagine new possibilities for the Unqork platform. Here’s how we are playing a supporting role in bringing the PLAY ON event to life.

The PLAY ON Event

PLAY ON is a star-studded live event that aims to use the power of music to drive change. The event will be co-hosted by Eve and Kevin Bacon and will showcase genre-spanning musicians playing iconic music venues—from Bon Jovi at the Apollo to LL Cool J at the Troubadour. With COVID-19 forcing concert venues around the country to shut down, PLAY ON is helping musicians get back on stage to celebrate the things that unite us.

Unqork is proud to partner with Kevin Bacon’s foundation, SixDegrees.org, to help make this event a success. Proceeds from the event will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and WhyHunger to help make meaningful investments in the futures of underserved communities in America. Through litigation and advocacy, the LDF pursues structural changes to eliminate racial disparities in criminal justice and expand democracy. WhyHunger works to break the cycle of poverty in America by investing in long-term solutions and teaching communities how to grow food sustainably. 

Together, these causes represent support for the communities in America that face inequity and injustice—and will also disproportionately feel the effects of COVID-19 in the years to come. As a technology partner for PLAY ON, we hope to make this event accessible and enable a simple donation process as these organizations come together. For those interested in tuning in, PLAY ON will air primetime on CBS at 8 PM ET (or 8 PM PT if you’re on the West Coast!) on December 15, 2020, and will also be available globally on YouTube or in the embedded window below:

 

No-Code for PLAY ON

To collect donations, drive traffic, and raise awareness about the PLAY ON event, we used the Unqork platform to build two enterprise-grade web applications. First, our team built a backend CRM for collecting sponsorships before the concert. “Whether you’re entering donations or insurance policies into a system, it’s fundamentally the same concept,” says Nick Gamble, our VP of Solutions. Thanks to Unqork’s component-based architecture and templated workflows, our team was able to build PLAY ON’s CRM in just one week. 

From there, we built a dynamic, responsive hub for all of PLAY ON’s web traffic. The Unqork platform’s infrastructure is built to scale, which helps ensure the site can handle millions of users without compromising security or slowing down performance. By building the PLAY ON hub with Unqork, it becomes possible to incorporate rapid changes on the fly without potentially damaging the user experience. 

“Our platform is known for complex enterprise solutions in regulated industries—not necessarily celebrity-laden events,” says Mark Wheeler, VP of Communications. “The team stepped up to the plate, explored a new space, and got the opportunity to be creative while figuring out different ways to use the platform.” 

“The nice thing about Unqork is that by defining the inputs, we can control the output. Unlike many popular website builders, we provide just the right amount of flexibility to make necessary changes—without leaving room for error,” says Nick. “The end product is always going to look and feel consistent because our clients are inputting structured data, versus typing directly into the page.” This also means it’s much faster to build exactly what you need. The team started working on the PLAY ON hub in mid-August and launched by the end of October, completing a high-profile, public-facing project in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken with code

Thinking Big and Giving Back

Beyond the chance to support an incredible cause, building applications for PLAY ON was also a great exercise in the “art of the possible” for Unqork. “Our platform is known for complex enterprise solutions in regulated industries—not necessarily celebrity-laden events,” says Mark Wheeler, VP of Communications. “The team stepped up to the plate, explored a new space, and got the opportunity to be creative while figuring out different ways to use the platform.” 

To find out more about PLAY ON and the important causes it will support, explore the site here. Don’t forget to tune in to the event on December 15th, 2020 at 8 PM ET, 8 PM PT for West Coast music lovers, on CBS or YouTube, and consider donating here!

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