Empower the next generation of leaders in tech

Develop for Good offers a more engaged form of mentorship, where professionals provide weekly feedback to students working on a real client project. Just one call a week can significantly impact the lives and careers of students aspiring to someday be like you.

Give back all you’ve learned

Throughout your career you've received coaching and advice from more experienced professionals. Now, you have an opportunity to pay it forward and guide the next generation by mentoring students developing tech for nonprofits.

Support new professionals

Give back to your community by helping students gain meaningful work experience.

Impact communities in need

Use your expertise to support the mission of nonprofits around the world.

Grow as a leader

Coach an individual or a team of students throughout their nonprofit tech project.

Support young professionals

Give back to your community by helping students gain meaningful work experience

Impact communities in need

Use your expertise to support the mission of nonprofits around the world

Grow as a leader

Sharpen your mentorship skills by coaching a team of students throughout their project

Join fellow mentors from top companies

Your time makes a difference

Getting real-world experience through Develop for Good gives diverse and underrepresented students a path into the tech industry.
“DFG has been one of the best, if not the most, rewarding experiences I have had in college! I have absolutely loved working with my extremely talented and dedicated team, and gained such valuable experience about what it takes to be a Product Manager. Most importantly, I loved that we did non-profit work, which is something hard to find in the tech industry."
Janine B., Product Manager
University of Texas at Austin ‘21
“Working with Develop for Good has given me an opportunity to connect with other peers, make new friends, and learn new skills together! It's been super cool being part of an organization that holds so much potential to continue learning and creating impact!”
Stephanie C., Software Engineer
Stanford University ‘20
“This program has honestly been one of the best hands-on learning experiences I've ever had. It has taught me more about how to be a better product manager and a designer more than any of the online courses/books I have ever been through. I couldn't thank the DFG team enough for this amazing opportunity!”
Priyanka D., Designer
Grinnell College '22

Volunteer mentor roles

There are two mentorship format options to choose from at Develop for Good. Both are equally impactful ways to support aspiring technologists passionate about doing good while building their careers.

Team Mentor

A Team Mentor coaches a team of up to 6 students working on a nonprofit project together. Team Mentors attend the team’s weekly 1.5 hour virtual meetings to observe sync-ups with their nonprofit client and to provide on-the-spot feedback to the students. The Team Mentor also curates relevant resources to send to the team after each weekly meeting.

1:1 Mentor

A 1:1 Mentor is matched to a single student who opts in for additional personalized support. A 1:1 Mentor meets with their mentee outside of team meetings weekly for a 30 minute video chat. 1:1 Mentors provide technical feedback on the student’s individual contributions to their team project, and curate relevant resources for that specific mentee.

Team Mentor

A Team Mentor coaches a team of 6 students working on a nonprofit project together. Team Mentors attend the team’s weekly 1 hour virtual meetings to observe sync-ups with their nonprofit client and to provide on-the-spot feedback to the students. The Team Mentor also curates relevant resources to send to the team after each weekly meeting.

1:1 Mentor

A 1:1 Mentor is matched to a single student who opts in for additional personalized support. A 1:1 Mentor meets with their mentee outside of team meetings weekly for a 30-minute video chat. 1:1 Mentors provide technical feedback on the student’s individual contributions to their team project, and curate relevant resources for that specific mentee.

Areas of expertise needed

Students learn the most when working beside experienced professionals on real projects. As a mentor, you'll be matched to a student project team based on your interests and areas of expertise. Providing guidance just once a week is invaluable for every student.

Product mentor

Guide an aspiring student product manager as they define the project's scope, lead the team, and ship their product.

Engineer mentor

Help young engineers quickly and efficiently approach the technical challenges unique to their project.

Design mentor

Provide feedback and critique to budding designers as they work through each stage of the design process.

Design mentor

Provide feedback and critique to a team of designers as they work through each stage of the design process.

Product mentor

Guide a student product manager as they define the project's scope, lead the team, and ship their first product.

Engineering mentor

Help new engineers quickly and efficiently approach the technical challenges unique to their project.

Our application process

1. Complete your application

Be as thorough as possible to help us understand your experience and why you want to volunteer with DFG

2. Get matched

Using human scoring and algorithmic matching, we'll evaluate your compatibility with our project teams or individual mentees.

3. Join a project team

Accept the offer letter we send you to start mentoring!

Skills needed

Management. Technical product specification writing, KPI and OKR setting, technical product roadmap development, project organization tools, and technical product documentation.

Engineering. Front end web frameworks include React, Angular, and Vue. Front end mobile frameworks include React Native, SwiftUI, Flutter, and Kotlin. Back end frameworks include BaaS platforms (Firebase, AWS Amplify), Django, Express/Node, Flask, and Kotlin. Data visualization skills include Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and D3.js. Data engineering skills include scripting, traditional RDBMS, NoSQL, distributed processing, and big data platforms.

Design. User experience research and design, user interface design, and Content Management System development with platforms like Webflow, WordPress, and Squarespace.

Additional skills & characteristics. Resilience, passion, and leadership.

Summer 2023 batch timeline

Mentor the tech leaders of the future

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to apply as a mentor volunteer?

All mentor candidates must have had more than 2 years of full-time work experience in their area of expertise.

Mentor applicants must have had some prior exposure to a mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee.

All Team Mentor applicants must have had some full-time product and/or managerial experience. Otherwise, we ask that you apply for only the 1:1 Mentor role.

If you are a new grad with less than 2 years of full-time work experience, please consider applying as a student volunteer instead; check out our Students page for more information!

What are my responsibilities as a mentor?

Whether you're a Team Mentor or 1:1 Mentor, you'll advise your mentee(s) in the following ways:

Feedback. Deliver constructive critiques on progress made so far through design or code reviews.

Advice. Provide suggestions on directions to take in high-level implementation or design decisions.

Resources. After each weekly meeting, take some time to aggregate helpful, relevant resources to send over.

Career. Provide helpful recruiting and career insights to students looking to break into the tech industry.

Mentors shouldn't directly contribute code or designs, and should instead play more of an advisory role as projects progress.

How will I be evaluated and matched to a mentee or team of mentees?

Every mentor volunteer applicant is carefully evaluated by our management team. First, our Product Leads manually review each candidate's application materials to ensure they meet our eligibility criteria before scoring them across Technical, Passion, and Resilience categories.

Candidates who pass this evaluation are fed into our in-house matching algorithm. Our proprietary algorithm ensures that both Team and 1:1 Mentors are matched to projects and students well-suited for their technical skill sets and their social impact interests.

Each Team Mentor coaches a student project team composed of 1 Engineer or Design Manager, 1 Product Manager, and 4-6 Engineers or Designers. Each 1:1 Mentor coaches an individual student mentee who opts into receiving additional personalized guidance.

What if I don't get matched? Is there a waitlist?

Mentors who don't initially get matched can opt into being added to our waitlist. If a Mentor spot on a project team opens up during the current batch, we'll reach out to the best suited candidate with an offer letter to fill the role. All Mentors who join from the waitlist will be given full credit for as a contributing mentor for that batch.

What can I expect from this program?

Develop for Good is designed to be a challenging but rewarding hands-on experience for all our volunteers. We push mentors and students to search for creative solutions in ambiguous environments where solutions may not be obvious. Sometimes, as often happens in the real world, projects are blocked due to unexpected factors or circumstances that arise.

To maximize project success, we direct much of our internal resources to carefully recruiting the most talented, passionate, and resilient volunteers to work on our nonprofit projects. Even so, it's important to keep in mind that the students you are mentoring are not yet professionals. They are part-time undergraduate students who are volunteering their skills and free time to a nonprofit, and who are eager to learn from you!

Furthermore, certain students on the team may have had less exposure to professional experience than others. Some of our students have or currently face obstacles in launching their careers in tech, whether this is a result of socioeconomic, racial, gender-related, situational, or personal disadvantages or inequities. Still others suffer from imposter syndrome and may be hesitant to ask for help. We ask our mentors to approach their roles with a spirit of radical understanding and empathy.

And trust us; the challenge is well worth it. Develop for Good's mentor alumni have told us about how fulfilling it has been to gain technical advising experience all while contributing to projects that impact real communities. Prior student mentees have told us about how the knowledge they gained from their mentors were instrumental to landing their dream internships or jobs in tech after graduation. If you're someone who enjoys a meaningful challenge, this experience will be delightful for you.


What will I get out of this program?

Advise aspiring technologists. Pass on your knowledge to college students eager to learn from you.

Share your skills with a nonprofit. Donate your talents to charities in need of your expertise by mentoring the students working on projects for them.

Impact real lives. Our nonprofit projects have reached millions of real lives across countries all over the world.

Leadership development. Hone your managerial and leadership skills by coaching young technologists.

Connect with fellow professionals. Meet professionals from other companies as passionate about mentorship and social good as you are.

A valuable, diverse network. Be a part of our lively community of mentors, students, and nonprofits in tech.

Develop for Good swag. Step aside, Balenciaga. Making sure our volunteers feel appreciated is very important to us!

How are nonprofit projects scoped?

After prospective nonprofit clients submit proposals, our Product Leads manually screen them to ensure that projects utilize technologies students are familiar with and that there are no budgetary, legal, or ethical concerns. Nonprofits that pass this initial review are accepted into our program and pay a small security deposit to lock in their spots.

The project scoping phase begins in the first 4 out of 16 weeks. During this time, project teams will work with nonprofit clients to mutually decide on a tangible technical deliverable to be completed by the end of the program. There is a possibility the deliverable may not be exactly what the client initially described in their proposal, whether it's because the team identifies a more optimal solution, or because the team determines only a phase of the larger product can be feasibly completed in the given time frame. Mentors play an important role in helping students determine a well-scope deliverable, broken into tangible milestones throughout the program. Once a mutual agreement is met, new Product Requirements Documents and Statements of Work are signed by all participants before the project development phase begins. Clients submit the rest of a $1,000 flat fee to proceed.

However, there is a possibility that your client might not agree with the deliverable recommended by your team during the project scoping period. If so, clients are given the option to withdraw from the program before the project development phase and have their security deposit refunded. If this happens, we'll try our best to re-match you and student team members to another nonprofit project suited for your skills and interests in the current or subsequent project batch.

What is the required time commitment?

The total expected time commitment for the 16-month program is ~1.5 hours/week for Team Mentors and ~1 hour/week for 1:1 Mentors.

All mentors join one virtual call per week. Team Mentors join the project's weekly 1 hour team meeting to observe sync-ups with their nonprofit client and to provide on-the-spot feedback to students. Weekly team meetings occur between Sunday - Tuesday. Team Mentor applicants are able to indicate which days/times they're available on the mentor application.

1:1 Mentors meet with their mentee individually for 30 minutes a week to provide personalized guidance. Weekly 1:1 meetings occur between Thursday - Saturday. 1:1 Mentor applicants are able to indicate which days/times they're available on the mentor application.

Outside of virtual meetings, all mentors follow up by aggregating and sending over relevant resources to help their mentees progress at the current stage of their projects.

We also expect mentors to acknowledge or confirm receipt of messages on a timely basis (within 48 hours during the weekdays). The success of the project depends heavily on everyone's ability to respond quickly and communicate clearly and effectively.

Although we understand that mentors are managing their full-time jobs throughout this period, the mentor role should be considered as a top priority. If you are interested but are unsure of whether you have the bandwidth for this commitment in the upcoming batch, please consider applying in the future!

What is Demo Day?

Demo Day is a public virtual celebration of all the work volunteers complete for nonprofit clients. It's a day of showcasing projects, networking with the community, and recognizing stellar teams with additional accolades. More details to come!

How else can I support Develop for Good?

Mentor our students through your corporation’s Volunteer Grant program. Through Corporate Volunteer Grant programs, companies provide monetary grants to nonprofits where employees volunteer. Check whether your corporation has one today!

Donate through your corporation’s Matching Gifts program.
Hundreds of enterprise companies have Matching Gifts/Matching Donations programs that can amplify an employee’s personal donations. We also welcome financial sponsorship from corporate Nonprofit Programs divisions. Donations will be used to fund our program and the Develop for Good Fellows program for first-generation, low-income student volunteers.

Connect us with your corporation’s Social Impact managers. There are many additional ways we can work with corporate sponsors and partners to further our mission.