Read the article at Savannah Morning News.
In a city that loves to volunteer, one Savannah non-profit is making it easier than ever to connect those looking to give back to the community through organizations like the American Red Cross, Georgia Conservancy, Humane Society for Greater Savannah and more.
Established in 2017, 501(c)3 tech-non-profit organization IVolunteer International will launch their first mobile app, IVolunteer Now later this month.
“The whole idea of IVolunteer International is to create seven billion volunteers,” said co-founder and executive director, Nipuna Ambanpola, a Georgia Southern University graduate, who is currently pursuing his masters degree at the University of Georgia (UGA).
“The whole idea as to why we became a nonprofit organization is to advocate for volunteerism and we want to create tools that make volunteering really easy and so much more efficient in people’s communities.”
The app, which is expected to launch this month, will use the user’s current location to identity nearby volunteer opportunities and users will be able to sign up for events and projects through the app on the event details page.
The app will also utilize social impact tracking, allowing users to keep up with their hours and contributions
Individual users and organizations will be able to post projects to the app and organizations such as nonprofits, colleges and chapters, will be able to create their own accounts and post their own projects. They will be able to organize their private projects exclusively to their members.
“It will be available for the southeast Georgia region because we’re a Savannah-based non-profit and we want to start there. We do have plans to widen our scope for the state and then eventually the U.S.,” Ambanpola said of the upcoming launch.
Ambanpola said during the app’s beta test phase more than 30 non-profits from Chatham and surrounding counties signed up, including the American Red Cross.
“One of the really great discussions we had was with the representatives from Red Cross, they said that hurricane season is coming up, and they have a lot of need for quick disaster response and to train volunteers and things like that,” he said.
During the last three years, Ambanpola said the organization did a lot of research into other platforms, which are mostly web based, and found that even today a lot of volunteer opportunities in people’s communities come from organizations, meaning people need to have membership in these organizations before they can volunteer.
“We’ve worked with nonprofits, we’ve spoken to volunteers to kind of identify what these challenges are. And then we realized, okay, the best way to make it more efficient equitable through a mobile app,” he said.
The app won’t be the first time IVolunteer International has partnered volunteers with projects. Since its founding they’ve connected connected more than 6,000 volunteers to 100 projects worldwide.
In 2018 and 2019 IVolunteer was selected as a finalist for the Peace through Trade competition hosted by the World Trade Center Associations Foundation, selected by the World Trade Center Savannah. Last year they won they UGA Terry College of Business Kickstart Fund Competition and also earned Civil Society Association Status with the United Nations Department for Global Communications.
Ambanpola said the accomplishments show that others see the need for a product like the IVolunteer Now app.
“We’re we’re just really happy to be building it with the community in mind,” he said.
About IVolunteer International
IVolunteer International is a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit organization registered in Savannah, Georgia. It is a Platinum Seal nonprofit organization on Guidestar and a Top Rated Nonprofit on Greatnonprofits. In 2019 and 2020, IVolunteer International was awarded finalist for the “Peace Through Trade Competition” by World Trade Center Savannah. IVolunteer International is also a member of Volunteer Groups Alliance, a global coalition of organizations that contribute to sustainable development through volunteering. IVolunteer International is also a Civil Society Associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. Access the Media Kit here. Website: www.ivint.org. For more information contact Nipuna Ambanpola on [email protected]