I’ve seen, first hand, the significant impact of bringing together a nonprofit leader with a well-matched expert who is willing to volunteer their time and talents to make a difference in the world. If you haven’t tried this – you should! There are a number of great sites that can help. Here’s information on a few that I have connected with in some manner.
Volunteer Match – this site not only does a great job of matching volunteers and nonprofits, they also provide helpful tools that can be used by both organizations and nonprofits to track and support volunteering efforts. And boy to they make matches. I checked their site as I was writing this post and noted they were nearing 6.2 million referrals and were generating an average of 126 referrals per hour. That’s huge!
We are lucky to have a member of the Volunteer Match team as a contributor to our blog. I hope you will keep an eye out for Lauren’s contributions and give their site a try. http://www.volunteermatch.org/
Sparked – these guys take a different approach that makes it easy for anyone to get involved – they call it “micro-volunteering.” As an individual, you share your interests and skills. As a nonprofit, you share your needs in the form of challenges. Sparked does the rest – bringing appropriate challenges to their audience of people who want to make a difference. The twist here is that the challenges can be addressed quickly, collaboratively and entirely online. I recently helped with a fundraising challenge that took only 15 minutes of my time. I got a nice note back from the nonprofit leader and learned that my ideas were being put to good use.
So, if you want to help (or want help) but want to minimize the time commitment – give Sparked a try. http://www.sparked.com/
Catchafire – the folks at Catchafire call on us to “Give What You’re Good At.” And, they put a lot of effort into making sure that it’s a good experience for everyone involved. Projects are well structured and monitored to ensure that the nonprofits’ needs are being well-served and the volunteers’ time is well-spent. As I prepared these notes I saw that their site reports over $7.2 million in value delivered by their pro-bono professionals.
You can find out more about open projects and how you can get involved at – http://www.catchafire.org/
This is just a sampling of the resources we’ve found that are focused on volunteering expertise. I hope you’ll take the time to learn more about this quickly-evolving approach to giving back.
Already given this a try? I would love to hear about success stories and lessons-learned.