Sites that help people give their time and skills.By Help from home
E-commerce giants like eBay and Amazon have shown that technology can automate the time-consuming processes of matching supply with demand. Digitally enabled coordination has yielded cheaper, more efficient, and scalable platforms, whether that is based on profile, interests, location, ability, or availability. A range of innovators are now applying those principles to encourage people to share their time and skills: digitally enabled giving.
A good example, Help From Home is a microvolunteering organisation based in Cardiff that runs a free community service to promote and encourage participation in online volunteering activities, most of which can be done from your computer, even in your pyjamas. The activities that they list take between 10 seconds and 30 minutes to complete, and all support worthy causes. Help From Home now has the largest known directory of current active non-skilled microvolunteering opportunities.
HopeMob is a crowdfunding community and platform that connects need with people who care. With a stated goal of ‘swarming the world with hope’ through telling stories of need to generous strangers, they are the only completely fee-free platform in the world that is open to all people and causes. Started in 2012, within six months HopeMob had garnered a social community of over half a million people from around the world. But more than just raising money, HopeMob builds social communities of volunteers, linking people’s passion and interest in particular causes to the people who need their help. This powerful combination of financial support, personal motivation, practical skills, and strength in numbers is making waves around the world.
Give What You’re Good At takes personalised information about your interests, skills and personality to match you with relevant volunteering opportunities. It takes as its starting point that volunteering participation is lower than it should be because volunteers don’t know what they can usefully contribute. By using technology to more effectively match specific needs with skilled people, the platform has supported over 210,000 hours of professional hours given, with a value of over £2.7 million. Their volunteers work on over 11,000 charity projects with over 450 company partners.
These platforms are not a magic bullet; technology alone does not make people generous and kind. However, by making it easier for people to volunteer, to fit giving into their lives and to make it digital, these innovators are creating new ways for people to give back to their communities.
Image courtesy of Help from Home
Last updated: 09th of May, 2014