Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A site connecting volunteers, charities and volunteer managers

A few months ago I stumbled across what in my opinion is a great site called i-volunteer


i-volunteer aims to enable people with passion for their community to connect with, learn from, inspire and support each other in what they are trying to do. The idea was originated by Jamie Thomas and the team at social enterprise Red Foundation, and was subsequently informed by research undertaken through the Modernising Volunteering programme.

This showed that some volunteers and workers were reluctant to use generic social networks as they struggled to get their voices heard in a crowded community and were concerned about mixing personal and volunteer related networking. Our research, which consulted over a 1,000 people, found a large appetite for a bespoke network for volunteering that not only enabled volunteers to get together but which also brought those that work with volunteers together in the same space too.

Red Foundation decided to support a pilot and donated funds and other resources to create the site which launched on International Volunteer Day, 5th December 2009.

What I love about this site is the up to date news – the contributions from members and the forum space created to encapsulate varying views from various people within the volunteerism spectrum.

I also like how the website is laid out and user friendly. I noted in a recent posting I made to the site “However I am noting that its reach seems to be going beyond the UK with members in Australia, New Zealand and the US for starters!!!
Room for I-volunteer.org.global???? “

To which Jamie Thomas replied

“We thought it best to start off in the UK and then see if there is a demand for overseas - which given you're here shows there might be”

Though a UK site, many of its features have a universal flavor.

I have argued many times before that the issues we face as a volunteer management sector and the trends we see in volunteering are very often similar across the globe.

Watch this site develop! I think they are on to something great!

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