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An online tool offering a points based rewards system for volunteering

An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus

What is the problem?

Voluntary groups need volunteers with a range of professional or specialist skills to help run certain aspects of their organisations. KCC is running a Volunteer Your Skills campaign. The campaign aims to help attract people to volunteer their specialist skills and expertise and match these skills with the needs of voluntary groups and organisations. www.kent.gov.uk/volunteeryourskills

Things to consider:
  • The campaign covers all age groups and people from all sorts of backgrounds.
  • The main skills identified by voluntary groups were: finance and funding, marketing, IT and computing and trustees.
  • The main things we need to do are:
  • Make it easy and convenient for people with skills to register their availability
  • Be able to match up vacancies with available skills
  • The solution needs to consider the needs of the volunteers, the needs of the voluntary organisation looking for the skills and the role of intermediary or broker agencies such as a Volunteers Centre

How can digital technologies be used to help voluntary organisations reach volunteers with professional and specialist skills?

Who is this for?

People with specialist skills who have time and organisations who are in demand of these skills

How would the idea work?

The purpose is to develop a volunteering program in Kent, supported by local businesses which will hopefully help build community spirit through offering a points based rewards system.

Primarily a web service but a reliable phone services will be offered in libraries, job centres and through SMS messages for those without access to the internet.

The website will allow users to set up a profile, look for volunteers and volunteering opportunities, invite a friend and claim rewards from sponsors. Volunteers will enter various details such as name, skills and availability. Opportunists will enter basic details and any opportunities available.

CRB checks will also be put in place through the Kent Volunteer Bureau. New members will get complimentary points. Points are also calculated by multiplying the volunteer’s star rating by the time spent on the opportunity. Points are then exchanged for rewards.

The rewards – various sponsors will offer a variety of products and services for a set amount of points, for example cinema tickets. The sponsors in return will receive free publicity and advertising to the whole community.

The rating experience will be two-way. Joint rating based on a five star system would be encouraged.

What can be done to make the idea successful?

A special thank you to a picture of an idea from http://transformedbyyou.uservoice.com.

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  1. Robert said...

    This sounds a lot like the http://www.orangerockcorps.co.uk/ by phone company Orange - 4 hours 'community service' gets you gig tickets. I think this was based on a similar scheme in the US.

    IMHO, to make this kind of scheme work - ie to capture the kind of people who wouldn't usually volunteer, the reward needs to be something 'money can't buy' for the target market. Perhaps VIP concert/theatre tickets, meals at hard to book restaurants, or 'experience' days for the mature volunteers. For younger volunteers, local gig tickets (lounge on the farm for example) or VIP entry at local clubs.

    For those people who already volunteer, then perhaps they could re-invest the rewards back into the organisation - computer/sports/catering equipment for the organisation for example, or preferential rates for council services?

    Working for cinema tickets or similar (unless they were for special preview showings, etc) sounds a bit too much like just working for cash with another name.

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