FROM: Paul Chapman
What NEED does this meet?
The site should be a place where volunteers can be matched against organisations that need volunteers.
A volunteer should be able to register with the site and the areas they would like to volunteer for. The organisations requiring volunteers should then be able to go onto the site and look for a volunteer.
Additionally the site should be able to email volunteers when a requirement comes live and subsequently the volunteer can contact the organisation involved either via email or phone. In essence Jobserve for Volunteers
What is the APPROACH?
The site will be driven almost entirely with XML. The volunteer organisations upload requirements as an XML document for additions.
Use of XML of course allows for any tool to be used to collate the information of a requirement although it should be a simple matter to implement a downloadable tool
What are the BENEFITS to people?
This would make it easier to match a requirement for a volunteer with the people who need that volunteer. There are all sorts of organisations and charities that need help and this would provide a means to find out what help is available.
What is the COMPETITION?
Norwich has the Volunteer Center which matches volunteers with organisations I am not aware of any on-line versions.
Their are numerous sites which do the same for paid employment but this is specific for the volunteer sector which means payment is either low of none at all.
What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Generally none of the technology is new. How expensive is dependent on the technology. SQL Server licenses are expensive, but it could be implemented using MySQL. Communications is via XML so the technology is tried and tested.
The idea of matching workers and employers is well tested and in some sectors such as IT over 80% of requirements are now advertised online.
This already exists, go to http://www.doit.org.uk and try out the quick and advanced search.
Posted by: Matt Wilson at Oct 31, 2003 2:43:50 PM
I actually helped create a semi-commercial system like this when I worked at a well know computer company. The system worked quite well, but was limited to a Lotus Notes system, with only the managers of the system able to enter details of volunteers and opportunities. As part of my final year uni project I converted it over to a web based system.
The hardest part is going to be getting people to join in. Ties to the voluntary sector would have to be extremely good, and they would really have to 'champion' it to their customers. I also think that it would be good to get companies involved as well as the voluntary sector.
I'd be happy to help in any way I can.
Posted by: Steven Algieri at Oct 31, 2003 2:48:21 PM
Two types of ideas keep being posted, which maybe could be combined to make
The first idea is of online payments, which has the problem of
how anyone gets the funny money so they can spend it, and how anyone accepting
it in payment can expect to purchase goods or services with a real world value.
The second idea is that we need a way of matching the skills of volunteers
with the needs of charities. Maybe volunteers and sponsors could donate funny
money to the organisation of their choice, and display a sign that they accept
funny money. The charities would use the funny money to buy the services they
need whether that is an unskilled teenager for addressing envelopes, or an
accountant to certify their books. The funny money would be spent at businesses
which accept it to cancel the debt which they have made by donating, or know
that members of staff or their lawyers or plumber will accept it. In this
way volunteers can donate the thing which they do best and charities can
receive the best at what they need.
Posted by: Ian at Nov 1, 2003 9:22:01 PM
I agree Ian.
Posted by: Dina at Sep 7, 2004 11:48:13 PM