I feature an interesting website, blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page or other online destination related to Waterloo Region on CKWR with Randolph J. Johnston called #WRawesome Online, Mondays at about 12:30. Here is the Midday with RJ’s Facebook page.
I hope by doing so that I’ll help people find places online that help them to connect to their community–online and in the real world. By doing so, I hope to help people find online places that they might not find otherwise and make our community a better place to live.
For folks looking for communications advice, you can get tips from each selection featured. I’ll highlight at least one example in my weekly post.
Volunteer time needs to be used effectively
When I was at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (see what I learned), I saw an NTC Ignite talk about whether the social profit sector was measuring volunteer efforts properly. I’m afraid I can’t recall the speakers name and it is not yet online. He stated that we tend to measure volunteers by the number of hours that they give to our cause. His questioned though if that was a good indicator. Isn’t it better to use a fewer number of volunteers or volunteer hours and get as much or more done than in previous years? If you can plant more trees in less time, isn’t that a better ROI?
From a charity’s perspective, his point was that we should be interested in making the most effective use of volunteers and not just considering success as getting more volunteer hours. I don’t remember him extending this point to the volunteer perspective but I will.
As a volunteer, we want to make an impact but we also want to feel our time is valued and used efficiently. Volunteer hours can be wasted hours if they are not effectively organized. An example is if there are too many volunteers and people are standing around doing nothing or much less than they are capable of doing.
National Volunteer Week
As we begin National Volunteer Week in Canada, I remember that NTC Ignite talk and put it out there as food for thought.
I appreciate the work volunteers do to make our neighbourhoods, communities, countries and the world a better place. Thank you!
At the same time, volunteers efforts are precious and we should all want to make sure that we are getting the biggest bang possible for each hour they contribute.
#WR Awesome Online: Charity Republic
So this week, I’m recommending Charity Republic as being #WRawesome Online because it helps volunteers research where they want to donate their time. What makes it an example of Waterloo Region awesomeness online is not that it’s for local volunteers because it’s open to anyone. What qualifies it is that its an example of our region’s innovative character as this website is the brainchild of Popy Dimoulas-Graham from Kitchener.
Here’s how it happened;
After moving to a new city, Popy was searching for ways to get involved in her community. She searched for volunteer opportunities by asking friends, family, work colleagues, and strangers about their experiences and recommendations. She also searched the internet, reviewed websites, and read testimonials. But she wanted to hear from volunteers about their experiences in order to find the right fit. That’s how Charity Republic came about – a place to share volunteer experiences and read volunteer reviews.
So what is Charity Republic?
I’ll let the site describe itself.
A Canadian-based organization that launched in December 2010, our mission is to connect people who strive to make a positive impact on the world through volunteerism. We aim to help volunteers reflect on their experiences with a charity or nonprofit and to help potential volunteers find the most rewarding opportunities possible (absolutely free). It’s all ‘word of mouth’ experiences about a charity or nonprofit, from a volunteer’s perspective.
The site was created to be:
- A forum for volunteers to share their experiences with a charity or nonprofit
- A place for people who are searching for volunteer opportunities to read what other volunteers have to say
- A blog that is all about charities and volunteering!
- A spot for charities and nonprofits to share volunteer opportunities
- Charity reports – we provide charities & nonprofits with reports that summarize the experiences of their volunteers (completely anonymous) e.g. 80% of volunteers rated their overall experience as excellent.
Whether you are a volunteer or work with volunteers, Charity Republic is worth checking out.
Be sure to come back here and let me know what you think.