This tool is thought to help volunteers to find projects and roles they are interested and projects and project leaders to find volunteers that can contribute to the project.
This is an ongoing challenge in Code for America. Many Brigade leaders and many volunteers have reported the following challenges: Volunteers: Don’t know which projects are active Don’t know which projects takle problems that they are interested in It is not easy to get in touch with project leaders It is not easy to understand the architecture of the project It is not easy to know the likelyhood that the project will be successfully adopted in the field It is challenging and at times frustrating to go through the onboarding given all the above uncertantly Projects: Don’t know if there are available volunteers with the necessary interests and skills Don’t know if the project will be able to be successfully adopted in the field It is challenging to retain volunteers for a long period It is challenging and time consuming to onboard volunteers especially without knowing if the volunteers will contribute for a length of time
All of the above (and more) challenges are not particularly new or particular of CfA. Many organizations suffer the same problem. And all these challenges can not be solved by any piece of technology alone. Processes and information needs to be improved to leverage any technology to mitigate the problem.
One high-level approach is used by several similar organizations, basically consisting of a database of volunteers and a database of projects. The more datapoints are stored in the database the more accurate a technical tool can suggest a matching (between volunteers and projects). The two list (volunteers and projects) need to share a lot of data, for example, “interests - problem tackled”, “skills - project needs”, “available time - project need time”, etc. If data is entered correctly and across matching lists, an automatic tool can run daily or weekly communicating to volunteers and project leaders the possible matches.
Several Brigade use similar approaches with more or less sophisticated tools. The ideas to discuss here would be for a broader scope solution, one that can be used across all CfA chapters or potentially even in the civic tech sector at large.
There are some tools (open source, free, online?) that may be able to address this need. In this page we can list more ideas, requirements, constrains existing tools or prototypes and more.
- Contacts: Gio Sce
- Status: Conceptual
- Project needs: Requirements gathering, CfA leadership buy in
- How to collaborate: Join Us