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professional hands, the charity work tool

FROM: Peter E J Kemp

What NEED does this meet?
Dear Sir or Madam

My name is Peter Kemp and i have been volunteering for charitable organisations for many years, but i have recently found such activities very difficult due to my 9-5 job in the IT industry, previously enjoying a student life. I imagine that there are many other people out there who, due to their jobs, feel that charity work is not an option, others may not have the mobility to help out even though they have very much to offer, and others may volunteer only to find the jobs they are given to be unsuited to them or their individual skills, for example a lawyer being given a computer to mend. There could be more cases of people frankly unaware that charities desperately need the skills that they possess, for example computer technicions living next door to a charity who need a network installing and having to spend a lot of unnecessary money paying a local business. I feel that all these factors are detrimental to the efficiency and 'profitability' of charitable organisations across the country.

For some months now i have been designing a website much based on the idea of a cross between ebay and a personal adds service. This service, i have dubbed "professional hands", will allow for charities to register with the site where they fill in details about themselves or provide links to their own websites. These charities will now have their own personal account.

On the other end volunteers will register with the website, stating information such as their personal skills and qualifications, location and contact details (which will be kept secret from other volunteers). They too will have their own account.

Charity's can now post jobs that they need doing or skills that they need, they can directly target people who agree to such a method, or leave the advert up for people to volunteer for. Once the link between the charity and person, or body of persons, has been made, the legal matters of volunteering can be made a personal thing between the organisation and volunteer.

When the job is finished the volunteers and organisations can complete a feedback form to rate the various aspects of the working relationship between the two , for example - teamplayer? skill level? etc. Volunteers will also be able to rate other volunteers that they worked with. This will allow for people and organisations to build up credentials which can be used in attracting other volunteers and offers of voluntary jobs. This system may also allow for a method by which people can gain much sought after experience in the work place, allowing them to further their own careers. You may even be able to include your volunteer feedback and ratings on your CV once the system has matured.

Why am i sending this to you? Well i thought you would be the best starting place, first if you were to support it, it would stand a much better chance of success. Please reply with your comments, of course all ideas put down here are not set in stone and i would be very grateful of any suggestions. If it would be more convenient to discuss this personally i can easily travel into London.

Yours Faithfully Peter Kemp

What is the APPROACH?
sorry i copied the entire email into top section please read that, i have no time at teh moment to dissect it

What are the BENEFITS to people?
sorry i copied the entire email into top section please read that, i have no time at teh moment to dissect it

What is the COMPETITION?
various charities run their own thing like oxfam, but a wider scoping system could get more attention and therefore more chance of success

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
may need server space, whihc will grow with size of project, need some database coders securities etc, not really my department but i could get more info on the subject

October 31, 2003 in Connecting People, Giving stuff away, Matching System, NGO Tools | Permalink


This sounds like an excellent idea. I know I'd like to be able to help out charities where I have the skills needed for particular tasks. I'd like to give this a 'thumbs up' as an idea that appeals to me and that I think would work.

Posted by: A McCabe at Oct 31, 2003 12:43:19 PM

Two types of ideas keep being posted, which maybe could be combined to make
both work.
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 9:23:29 PM

Sounds like a good plan. I hope it all works out.

Posted by: dave at Dec 5, 2003 12:04:32 AM

yeah, i really like this idea. often people are so keen to do charity work, but don't know where to start. However this idea sounds like it would give them confidence they weren't wasting their time.

Posted by: jo marks at Dec 16, 2003 10:55:18 AM

Ready for creating a detailed requirement document.

Posted by: Anurag at Mar 2, 2004 10:35:32 AM