Ultimate Guide


Ultimate Guide to Non-Profit Coding Bootcamps

By Rachel Meltzer
Last Updated June 17, 2021

While many coding bootcamps are for-profit educational institutions, there are a handful of non-profit coding bootcamps that are on a mission to help career-changers break into tech! Some non-profit coding bootcamps are working to make the tech industry more diverse while others exist to uplift underserved communities and provide training for high-wage jobs. There are also coding bootcamps that began as a private, for-profit partnership but grew into non-profits. 

In this guide, we’ve rounded up 8 non-profit coding bootcamps and everything you need to know about them. Find out what makes non-profit coding bootcamps unique, why a bootcamp would choose to become a non-profit, and which non-profit coding bootcamp might be best for you!

How are Coding Bootcamps Classified as Non-Profits?

Most of the non-profit bootcamps on this list are designated as 501(c)(3), which is the non-profit tax code designation. Then, they’re further classified as one of these NTEE classifications:

    • Vocational, Technical Schools (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
    • Adult, Continuing Education (Educational Institutions and Related Activities
    • Computer Science (Science and Technology Research Institutes, Services)
    • Specialized Education Institutions (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
    • Educational Services and Schools - Other (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
    • Elementary, Secondary Education, K - 12 (Educational Institutions and Related Activities) 

How are non-profit coding bootcamps different from for-profit coding bootcamps? 

Many non-profit coding bootcamps may look exactly like the bootcamps you know and love from the outside. Some non-profit bootcamps, however, only run summer camp programs, youth programs, or coding bootcamps for those in underserved communities. And while there are quite a few free coding bootcamps around the world, most non-profit bootcamps still require students to pay full or partial tuition. 

Non-profit bootcamps are highly regulated entities and having the 501(c)(3) status requires the school to comply with regulations at the state/federal level. In order to get this non-profit status, the school must go through a serious application process. Non-profit bootcamps are usually smaller establishments because they’re focused on the mission of bettering their own community, not expanding across the country or the globe. While a for-profit bootcamp may rely on funding from venture capitalists in order to grow, non-profit bootcamps receive funding from grants, subsidies, donations from the community, partnerships with big companies or universities, and sometimes student tuition. 

8 Non-Profit Coding Bootcamps

1. Ada Developers Academy

Ada Developer Academy’s mission is to prepare women and gender expansive adults to be software developers while advocating for inclusive and equitable work environments. Ada Developers Academy prioritizes serving Black, Latinx, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people. Their cost-free training program includes a collaborative learning environment, individualized support (mentors, tutors, a network of mental health supports, affinity groups), and an applied learning internship.

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Vocational, Technical Schools (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: 24 weeks
Cost to Students: Free
Curriculum: Classroom training covering Ruby, Rails, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript, plus a paid, learning internship 
Eligibility: Women and gender expansive folks over the age of 21 with permanent work authorization in the United States. Applicants must be able to participate for the full duration of the program, which is full-time, Monday through Friday.
Locations: Seattle, Washington

Lauren Sato, CEO of Ada Developers Academy says, “We’re starting to see these cohorts of alumni that really had an impact, where companies are listening to them, they’re asking them what it takes to help them feel like they belong. That’s phenomenal. We’re on the precipice of some pretty significant change and I’m excited to be a proof point now and to help people see that.”

2. Code Tenderloin

Code Tenderloin’s mission has been to bring economic equity through long-term employment to the marginal and needy populations living in and around San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Code Tenderloin offers tech and job-readiness training to adults, and removes barriers to their education by covering transportation and childcare. Code Tenderloin partners with Glide, St. Anthony’s Foundation, Compass Family Services, Tech Credit Union, and the Public Defender's office in order to remove barriers to success and provide bootcamp students with social, financial, legal, and emotional support. 

Non-Profit Status: Code Tenderloin is a fiscally sponsored project of Independent Arts & Media, a 501(c)3 non profit organization.
Length of program: 4-12 weeks
Cost to Students: Free
Curriculum: 

  • Code Ramp: Programming concepts, HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • SOAR Sales: Basics of sales processes and methodologies

Eligibility: Open to anyone in the San Francisco area.
Locations: San Francisco, California

Code Tenderoin’s Founder & Executive Director, Del Seymore says, “Code Tenderloin is the people we serve and our success is measured in the changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and the strength of their communities. Since its beginning in 2015, Code Tenderloin has helped hundreds of folks move up to the next level of living — gain a community, become housed, stay out of prison, and realize they can get a job or career. Many of our graduates have gotten nice apartments, cars and well-paying jobs. Many have returned to school, following their dreams and building their education.”

3. Eleven Fifty Academy

Eleven Fifty Academy was launched in 2014 with a $2 million grant from The Scott A. Jones Foundation. Scott Jones worked with software development experts from his previous entrepreneurial ventures to bring a coding immersion training program to the Midwest in order to meet the ever-increasing and urgent need for highly-trained software developers. Eleven Fifty Academy is focused on statewide growth in Indiana to meet industry demand. Eleven Fifty Academy is the first in Indiana to be recognized as a Registered Software Development Apprenticeship program.

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Adult, Continuing Education (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: Full-time programs are 12-14 weeks; part-time programs are 26 weeks
Cost to Students: Scholarships, student loans, CARES Act Funding, Progressive Income Share Agreement (PISA), and GI Bill Funds are available.

  • Coding Bootcamps: $13,500
  • Cyber Security Bootcamps: $18,000
  • UX/UI Design Bootcamp: $5,000

Curriculum: All programs have access to career services and a career prep course module.

  • Software Development: HTML, CSS, .NET, REST, MVC, and APIs. Create and deploy web pages, develop full-stack applications, and learn modern frameworks and libraries through hands-on projects. 
  • Web Development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, building web applications, user experience, and through hands-on full stack projects and team coding work.
  • Cyber Security Bootcamps: CompTIA Security+, Incident Response, build and operate a modern SOC, SOC technologies and management systems, cyber-attack types. 
  • IT Professional: CompTIA A+ and Network+, learn how a PC is built, work with relevant tools like Wireshark and pfSense Firewalls, and work within HackMe. 
  • UX/UI: Design fundamentals, HTML and CSS, UI Design, UX Design, Design thinking, Navigation Design, Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, Balsamiq, and Git. You’ll work with mentor and create a portfolio. 

Eligibility: Anyone can apply for Eleven Fifty Academy.
Locations: Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Fishers, Indiana as well as online

Dewand Neely, CIO at Eleven Fifty Academy says, “There is a shortage of tech talent. We at Eleven Fifty are definitely part of the solution to this conundrum. When it comes to tech workforce development, it’s about creating a well-rounded person, not just creating tech geeks. Teaching soft skills helps set up our students for success. Eleven Fifty Academy’s curriculum is agile and we work hard to meet industry needs and demands. Our corporate partners share consistent feedback in addition to coding or cybersecurity skillsets. We teach the soft skills that our corporate partners are asking for. Graduates of our academy are ready to function as part of a team in an office environment. Our goal is to transform lives, and working with our students to prepare them for engaging in a meaningful career is how we accomplish this.”

4. Mississippi Coding Academies

Mississippi Coding Academies (MCA) was founded in 2017 as a joint project between the Mississippi governor’s office and Innovate Mississippi. MCA’ mission is to offer a non-traditional path in order to support diverse software professionals and offer economic opportunity for those living in Mississippi, especially those in disadvantaged and underserved communities.

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Computer Science (Science and Technology Research Institutes, Services)
Length of program: 44 weeks
Cost to Students: Free
Curriculum: Full stack software development curriculum plus soft skills training and career support. 
Eligibility: Anyone living in Mississippi is welcome to apply.
Locations: Jackson, Mississippi and Starkville, Mississippi

Mississippi Coding Academies’ Co-Founder, Richard Sun says, “Tech work is very mobile. All the tech work that’s gone overseas that’s been outsourced; that could come to Mississippi if we have the coders. So our phrase is ‘outsource to Mississippi.’”

5. Nashville Software School

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville Software School (NSS) is a nonprofit vocational school that prepares adult learners for tech careers in software development, UI/UX design, and data science. Nashville Software School is community-minded, and is committed to diversifying technology by opening the door to underrepresented groups in tech. Nashville Software School is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. 

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Specialized Education Institutions (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: Jumpstart courses are 3 weeks long; bootcamps range from 26 weeks to 52 weeks.
Cost to Students: Jumpstart courses are $650-$750; bootcamps are $12,500. There are 12 reduced tuition seats for Nashville/Middle Tennessee residents committed to remaining in Tennessee after graduation ($9,500) within each 25 seat bootcamp. Grants, scholarships, payment plans, GI Bill funding, and student loans through Ascent and Climb Credit are available. 
Curriculum: Most NSS programs come with career prep. 

  • Web Development Jumpstart: HTML, CSS, JavaScript.
  • Analytics Jumpstart: Python, Jupyter Notebook, and SQL.
  • Statistics for Data Science: Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics for data science.
  • Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp: Prepare for a career in software development with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Python and Django, Node.JS, .NET, and C#.
  • Front End Web Designer/Developer Bootcamp: Research, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, AJAX, jQuery, JSON, SASS, responsive design, Express, and more. 
  • Data Analytics Bootcamp: Python, SQL, spreadsheets, ETL, analytics workflows, and data presentation.
  • Data Science Bootcamp: Python, R, Jupyter Notebooks, RStudio, pandas, scikit-learn, tidyverse, data science processes, managing data, data analysis and visualization, SQL, big data, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Eligibility: All applicants must be at least 18 years old, legally able to work in the US, and have a high school diploma or GED. 
Locations: Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Software School’s CEO, John Wark says: "I still think there's this perception that things like software development, that there's only a limited number of people that can do that work. I can tell you based on our experience ... looking at the aptitude that's needed to do software development work or data analytics work, these jobs are more accessible to a lot more people than I think realize it."

6. Operation Spark

Operation Spark started in 2013 as a pilot project, developed and conducted at youth community centers around New Orleans. After hosting a 5-week summer bootcamp, Operation Spark officially launched as a non-profit in 2014. Operation Spark focuses on youth and adults in New Orleans where generational poverty is an issue. They develop and distribute effective learning tools and programs to help circumvent the costs of higher education and provide accelerated workforce development. 

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Educational Services and Schools - Other (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: From 2-12 weeks
Cost to Students: Tuition ranges from free to $11,000, depending on the program. Financing, stipends, and need-based scholarships are available.
Curriculum: 

  • High School Fundamentals: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • High School Advanced: JavaScript, functional programming, and web development
  • Adult Prep: Introduction to JavaScript
  • Adult Bootcamp: Deep dive into JavaScript and functional programming
  • Adult Immersion: Complex JavaScript projects and building full-stack applications
  • Adult Job Search: Immersion graduates spend time at the Operation Spark offices applying for software engineering positions, treating applying for jobs as a full-time job until securing employment.

Eligibility: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Orleans Parish are eligible for the high school programs. Any adults aged 19-90 in New Orleans can apply for the adult programs.  
Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana

Operation Spark’s CEO, John Fraboni says, “I truly know that there’s a job for everyone in software development. By the end of bootcamp, these young people really know if software is for them or not — and we know if it’s for them or not.” 

7. Turing School

Turing School’s mission is to unlock human potential by training a diverse and inclusive student body to succeed in high fulfillment technical careers. Turing School recognizes that aptitude is widely distributed but opportunity is not. Turing works to disrupt the status quo, training great people to become great developers. Beyond technical curriculum, Turing offers mental health support, financial coaching, and a mentoring program to ensure each student has what they need to succeed in the program and on the job.

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Educational Services and Schools - Other (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: 30 weeks, with a one week intermission every 7 weeks
Cost to Students: $20,000 tuition. Turing has financial aid options including the GI Bill, WIOA, vocational rehab, and student loans through Sallie Mae, Ascent, and Climb.
Curriculum: 

  • Front End Engineering: Learn how to build the “client-side” of applications where code is executed in the browser, JavaScript, and React. 
  • Back End Engineering: Learn how to build the server-side of applications with Ruby on Rails and SQL. 

Eligibility: Turing looks for candidates with empathy, grit, a strong growth mindset, an aptitude for logical problem solving, and a passion for programming and creating a more diverse and inclusive tech industry.
Locations: The program is live online, but students must be within +/- 2 hours of the Mountain Time Zone so that they can attend live classes online comfortably. 

Turing School’s Executive Director, Jeff Casimir, says, “We started with the idea that there were a good number of people out there who had the potential to be software developers, but for one reason or another, never made it onto that traditional (higher ed) path. It is blowing open the access doors to who is allowed to have these high-quality careers. I think for the vast majority of the tech industry’s history, it’s been a tightly selected group who gets to play on that playground. And that’s just frankly not okay with me.”

8. Zip Code Wilmington

Zip Code Wilmington is a nonprofit coding bootcamp because they know that there is an increasing demand for skilled, hardworking software developers. Zip Code Wilmington created their curriculum with direct input from their corporate partners to ensure students learn the skills employers need from entry-level developers. 

Non-Profit Status: 501(c)(3). NTEE classification is Elementary, Secondary Education, K - 12 (Educational Institutions and Related Activities)
Length of program: 12 weeks
Cost to Students: $6,000 tuition. Scholarships and GI Bill funds are available. Students who receive and accept an apprenticeship or direct-hire job with a Zip Code Wilmington corporate partner can sometimes have the remainder of their tuition forgiven. 
Curriculum: Students learn the basics of computational thinking, Java, TypeScript, JavaScript, JUnit, Maven, Git, MySQL/DB2, Tomcat, Angular, Spark, Ionic, Spring Boot, and real-world techniques that will help them succeed day-to-day. 
Eligibility: Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED and is legally able to work without sponsorship in the United States can apply. Accepted students must also complete a criminal background check. Zip Code Wilmington is looking for passionate self-starters with grit, tenacity and a fierce love of problem solving.
Locations: Wilmington, Delaware 

Zip Code Wilmington’s Executive Director, Desa Burton says, “It is inspiring to watch a diverse group of Zip Coders – 25 percent who are women and another 25 percent are those who are underrepresented in the tech industry – consistently and tirelessly work with a singular focus for 12 straight weeks because they know the 80+ hours a week of curriculum and projects will secure their livelihood, create stability for their families, and expand their careers. We can all see how code builds communities because these individuals choose to live, work and raise their families right here in Delaware.” 

About The Author

Rachel Meltzer is a freelance writer who loves writing about career transitions, tech, and the outdoors. She helps adventurous people tell their stories on her podcast and coaches new freelance writers. She was born and raised in New England and currently lives in North Carolina.

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