Social network for volunteers GiveGab has debuted a new suite of tools to help organizations manage all their volunteer activities. The Ithaca, New York-based company also says it has closed $1.6 million in funding.
GiveGab connects aspiring volunteers with positions that match their skills and interests. It has worked with more than 1,500 nonprofits and nearly 200 colleges and universities to post volunteer opportunities. Its new premium services suite gives these organizations tools for building online profiles, promoting events, programs, and opportunities, creating reporting on volunteer activity, and measuring progress. They can quantify their programs and gain greater insight into why certain programs are popular and how much of an impact the volunteers are having.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to volunteer. Volunteers can not only find interesting opportunities, but also log their hours and work for future reference.
“Study after study shows that people that volunteer more are happier, healthier, have better relationships, and experienced increased satisfaction with their lives and their communities,” said founder and CEO Charlie Mulligan to VentureBeat. “We were founded for one simple reason — to help inspire more happy volunteers.”
Mulligan has spent 20 years consulting for nonprofits and small businesses and said he gained a unique understanding of the needs and interactions between the groups that require volunteers and the groups that provide volunteers. He also said that while a significant portion of American adults say they want to volunteer each year, only a small percentage actually do. Mulligan said that part of this gap can be solved by creating more efficient systems for onboarding and managing volunteers. Everyone can communicate through GiveGab’s platform and feel as though they are part of a community.
GiveGab currently has tens of thousands of volunteer opportunities in the system and aims to have several hundred thousand by the end of the year. Organizations like Idealist.org feature listings of volunteer opportunities around the country, while companies like VolunteerMatters offer software that keeps track of all the data generated by volunteer programs. GiveGab combines these, so it serves the dual purpose of helping organization raise awareness and recruit.
This $1.6 million first institutional round of funding was led by Cayuga Venture Fund, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Rand Capital SBIC, and Excell Partners. It will support GiveGab’s efforts to build out premium services and begin work on a mobile application that will come out later this year.