Mobilizing Volunteers To Combat Societal Challenges
We have seen how the recent protests around the world have awakened and impassioned a much greater...
About The Connectory:
The Connectory is an online portal that connects young people to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning opportunities that inspire them to explore, discover, and create. Launched in 2010 by Time Warner Cable, it’s currently managed by The National Girls Collaborative.
They were missing an engaging way to connect potential volunteers to STEM programs. That’s when they turned to VolunteerMatch.
Since integrating the VolunteerMatch Network with their platform, their volunteer opportunities page has become among their highest visited.
We would definitely recommend working with VolunteerMatch to other organizations. It always makes sense to collaborate with someone who already has expertise in the field, and not reinvent the wheel. And that is VolunteerMatch.
Parents and teachers looking for STEM-based learning opportunities for their children could easily browse what’s available near them on The Connectory.
And organizations that list these learning opportunities loved having the option to indicate whether they are also looking for volunteers.
But there was no easy way for potential volunteers to express their interest and get connected.
“[The platform] got them halfway there, but it wasn’t able to connect them to actual volun- teer opportunities,” says Jolene Gustafson, Director of The Connectory at NGC.
The Connectory knew that if it wanted to be the go-to place for companies looking to get involved in STEM, which was one of its goals, it needed to have a concrete way of engaging them in volunteerism.
VolunteerMatch’s Network Integration — which uses an application programming interface (API), allows third-party websites, platforms, and apps to integrate the VolunteerMatch’s massive network of 100,000+ volunteer opportunities.
And VolunteerMatch was open to working with The Connectory to create out-of-the-box features including one that only pulls volunteer opportunities from organizations that also have Connectory accounts. This ticked all the boxes of what The Connectory needed.
The creators of The Connectory, Time Warner Cable, had also worked with VolunteerMatch in the past to manage its employee volunteer efforts. They knew that VolunteerMatch would make a trusted partner to help The Connectory fulfill its mission.
From start to finish, the implementation took about three and a half months. Volunteer- Match added customization specific for The Connectory, which, among other things, al- lowed organizations with a VolunteerMatch and Connectory account to sync their accounts.
“There were fields that both groups needed to add, and troubleshooting that we needed to go through,” says Jolene. “We were able to work through it very well”.
To encourage The Connectory members to create and sync a VolunteerMatch account, the two groups worked closely together on promotion.
“It was always very easy to communicate with our contact at VolunteerMatch,” says Erin. “We were able to coordinate different pieces among teams at both of our organizations. That’s a testament to VolunteerMatch’s commitment to partnerships.”
Since implementation, The Connectory’s volunteer listings page has been one of its most highly viewed pages. The Connectory sees the volunteer integration as one of the features that helps bring new providers onboard.
One organization, ChickTech (based out of Oregon but with volunteer opportunities nationwide), explains, “There are a lot of people who are looking for really meaningful volunteer experiences across the nation, and having a platform where people understand they can connect with a local organization is really beneficial to our work.”