Code for causes is a new project that is currently in the planning stages. It will allow programmers, designers, and other IT professionals to donate their time, knowledge, and experience to charities, NPOs, and good causes without having to contract to them directly. This will mean that charities can get work done without being dependant on a single person, and the people who help won't feel like they are forever attached to the charity for future work.
So why Code For Causes?
Donating time to a charity can be a harrowing experience for a developer. Clients often don't understand the time-value of the work, or the effort that went into creating it, and doing the work for free doesn't help this issue. Because of this, charities in general have a pretty bad reputation as clients, so many developers avoid them, despite wanting to help out. Code For Causes aims to bridge this gap by removing the dependence on a single developer to get work done.
If you're a developer, and have one or two hours to spare, there will be small jobs that you can do to help out. If you have more time, then you might be able to tackle bigger goals. Either way, you only do the work that you can handle, without having to donate more time than you can afford.
If you're a charity, you can set your goals, and get them done by professionals all over the world. It doesn't matter how small you are, someone should be willing and able to help you.
There are also plans for a knowledge base to help charities decide what type of software they really need (and see what options already exists) so they can get a solution that works for them, and is easy for them to manage and understand.
What technology will be behind this?
They're both great, and I support them both, but they seem to be focused on either "big goals", or "single events". It's not accessible for the causes that really need the help (think: your local animal shelter, community organisations, etc). Code For Causes aims to help out not just the big guys, but also the small causes that really need some help.