Welcome to Volcally! We’ll mostly use the news & updates section to keep you up to date on progress as we grow the business and as we strive to continuously improve the Volcally platform. Plenty of updates to come, but for now, I’ll kick things off with the story behind Volcally.
Like most good ideas, the Volcally concept was developed to solve a problem. Back in September of 2013, I was working at a coworking space in Charlotte alongside several local startups, freelancers, and small businesses. One of the first people I met there was the founder of a local nonprofit organization called CIRF (Chronic Illness Relief Fund). Taylor was putting everything she had into building an organization that helped people with chronic pain & illnesses. It was really inspiring to see her passion for making an impact with her work.
One day, during a quick side conversation, Taylor mentioned that she was having issues with the CIRF website & was probably going to have to hire someone to help her make a few updates. I asked her for a little more detail on what she needed help with, and realized that the updates she needed would only take me a 10-15 minutes to complete. When I told her this, she asked me how much I’d charge. Charge? For 15 minutes of help that would help her make an even bigger impact CIRF? No charge.
She was thrilled. Just 15 minutes of my time had made a big impact on Taylor and her organization.
Volunteer support like this is more than just helpful for organizations like CIRF. For these organizations, volunteer support is often a critical component to their survival & growth. Unfortunately, these organizations often struggle to identify and recruit volunteers.
There are several volunteering organizations and a few volunteer-focused websites geared at increasing passive awareness around volunteer impact and opportunities. Unfortunately, increasing passive awareness alone rarely results in a major volunteer response. It does, however, increase nonprofit’s expectations that volunteers will proactively search out specific opportunities where they could personally help.
So, when a high-dollar volunteer awareness-ignitor campaign is launched, and local volunteer activity starts to taper off a month later, it’s easy for us to point the finger at “a society with declining morals and growing apathy”. And that’s completely wrong. Most people do want to make a positive impact on society. The problem is, we easily lose sight of how we can personally help, and how powerful that help could be.
We need to rethink volunteerism. We need a new system of communication; a system that integrates volunteerism into our personal and professional daily routines, and that not only makes us aware of the specific needs charitable organizations have, but goes a step further and incentivizes us to take action.
And THAT is why we started Volcally.