From natural disasters to issues affecting members of the community every day, if you’ve every thought, “I want to help!” but aren’t sure where to start, a new platform is ready to “POINT” you in the right direction. Connecting non-profits with volunteers, POINT is fielding 501(c)(3)s for the launch of its app and dashboard.
“The app matches users with volunteer opportunities according to location and cause,” says Founder & CEO Madison Mikhail Bush.
It’s reflective of the startup’s main goal: make POINT the easiest way to volunteer. Ever.
Bush had a millennial audience in mind with the development of the volunteer platform. She found that non-profits had a pain point when it came to connecting younger generations with the systems in place.
“They [Millennials] were frustrated that their volunteer systems weren’t mobile,” Bush says.
Research also found that millennials don’t always go back to the same charity and only give or volunteer there, “Millennials are really really passionate about causes,” Bush says.
For that reason, POINT aggregates opportunities around causes, providing volunteers the ability to rally around a handful of organizations through an easy-to-use mobile app.
The causes that POINT volunteers can support are reflective of the UN’s Global Goals and span animals to clean water conservation. Volunteers will find 20 causes in total, including climate, disease, education, equality, homelessness, poverty, refugees and more.
Non-profits will create profiles through the POINT Dashboard much like they would on Facebook and use the platform to post their volunteer opportunities. But instead of blasting an opportunity out to anyone who might see it on a social media platform, through POINT the volunteer need will reach a curated audience directly concerned with the cause the non-profit supports.
Seeking volunteers through POINT also makes the administrative process more seamless for non-profits. With the app’s geolocation capabilities, “When you go to an event, it will by location notice that you are there and check you into the event,” Bush says.
Non-profits don’t have to spend time on the check-in process and have the data stored through the app. It also means hours are recorded for volunteers, with the ability to track service hours for schools, charities, businesses and the like.
Bringing volunteering into the app age has been a process nearly two years in the making for Bush.
The altruism that feeds the app dates back to middle school. After watching a movie on global poverty, she couldn’t find an easy answer to, “We want to help, but now what?”
Bush wanted to find an easier way to connect her network with many of the great charity efforts she did see happening, so in 2010 she launched ONELIFE, a website that connected people to reputable charities across the world.
“We realized very quickly that the app age was upon us,” Bush says. So in 2015, the rebrand to POINT began.
Bush raised just over $20,000 crowdfunding through Indiegogo to get the platform off the ground. However, with a background in biology, the non-technical founder had to outsource the work. A series of hurdles finding the right technical team, from hiring her first developer at just 18 years old, to a team based in San Fransisco that dragged their feet through the process, POINT finally found a group of volunteers able to bring the app to life.
Now, the push begins to connect non-profits with the POINT Dashboard. The Dashboard feeds the opportunities available to volunteers through the app, so Bush is lookign for a critical mass of non-profits before pushing the app.
To familiarize non-profits with the Dashboard, POINT is hosting two demo days this week at Flat 51 in German Village. The events will be held on Wednesday, October 25 at 12:30 p.m. and Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. Non-profits can register for the demo days here.
For more information, visit pointapp.org.