Flash Volunteer Partners with VolunteerMatch to Bring ‘Cause Crowds’ to Local Neighborhoods
Integration helps Seattle-area nonprofits recruit volunteer armies for local events.
April 8, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Flash Volunteer, the Seattle-based organization that harnesses technology to connect volunteers to community service events in their neighborhoods, has launched a new website featuring volunteer needs from VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network.
Flash Volunteer is a web-based engagement portal for volunteering that allows users to find volunteer opportunities and create their own volunteer events to support causes they care about. The service was built by volunteers, for volunteers, and specializes in group activities such as park cleanups, trail builds, and other single-day events. It uses the power of social media to create opportunities for Cause Crowds, flash-mob-style volunteer events. By including qualifying opportunities from VolunteerMatch’s network of more than 1,700 Seattle-area member nonprofits, the integration gives local nonprofits more ways to find volunteers for their events.
Flash Volunteer Executive Director Brad Wilke conceived of the service in 2009 while working as a fundraiser for a Seattle Head Start program. He wondered if flash mob organizing tactics could be used to involve large numbers of volunteers -- helping local nonprofits and introducing more people to volunteering in the process. “VolunteerMatch is helping us solve a 3-year old problem of chicken or the egg,” said Wilke. “What comes first, events or volunteers? Working with VolunteerMatch to provide the opportunities, we can now make participation as easy as possible for volunteers.”
VolunteerMatch is best known for its popular website, www.volunteermatch.org. The San Francisco-based nonprofit began releasing APIs (application programming interfaces) in 2010 to enable developers to seamlessly incorporate volunteer listings, search, registration, and other VolunteerMatch features into their own online systems. VolunteerMatch APIs have recently powered online volunteer engagement for Microsoft’s Helpbridge mobile app, 911Day.org, and the New York University campus community, among other projects.
Flash Volunteer, which has over 1,600 users in Seattle, lets individuals create and share their own volunteer activities with other users, and a mobile app version of the service can be found in the iTunes store.
“This latest version of our platform brings us closer to our vision of building a real-time, real-world volunteering application,” said Wilke. “We’re growing in Seattle and we hope that our relationship with VolunteerMatch will pave the way for increased adoption and expansion in other parts of the country.”
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About Flash Volunteer
Flash Volunteer provides web-based and mobile engagement tools for neighborhood-focused volunteer opportunities, empowering Seattle-ites to participate more fully in regular, sustainable volunteer service. Organized by neighborhood and focused on grassroots-style volunteer efforts, Flash Volunteer offers tools for the next generation of service-minded citizens. Flash Volunteer allows users to create, discover and sign-up for events with minimal hassle, including our innovative Cause Crowds, which are social media-driven, semi-spontaneous gatherings of volunteers whose purpose is to make a large positive impact in a relatively short period of time for an organization in need.
VolunteerMatch is the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, with more than 90,000 participating nonprofits, 160 network partners and 10 million visitors each year. Founded in 1998, VolunteerMatch offers solutions to make it easier for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make a difference. Since its launch, VolunteerMatch has helped nonprofits attract more than $3.2 billion worth of volunteer services. VolunteerMatch is a two-time Webby Award winner, a Smithsonian inductee, and has been recognized for its work by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Time, Oprah Winfrey and Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. To learn more, visit www.volunteermatch.org.