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MakeADiff launches to help non-profits find skilled volunteers

10.16.2013
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The non-profit sector has been revolutionised by crowdfunding over the past few years.  What started with Kiva allowing people to lend money to entrepreneurs in developing countries has mushroomed, with the crowdfunding movement now allowing people to easily support any number of civic and social projects.

The Atlassian Foundation has taken a slightly different tact.  They don’t want your money as much as your skills, and as such, they’ve launched a new website called MakeADiff.  The site is looking for people with strong technical skills to help convert ideas into successful projects.

The site allows non-profit organisations to list their job requirements on the site, and then developers, designers, analysts and so on can lend their skills to the projects that take their fancy.

Atlassian Foundation manager, Melissa Beaumont Lee, said: “We started hearing from nonprofits that what they valued even more than donations was access to Atlassian’s technology expertise. Similarly, we had lots of employees who were keen to volunteer, but didn’t know how to get involved; coordinating volunteers for all these amazing projects was just not scalable. Thus, MakeaDiff.org was born to benefit both nonprofits and volunteers. We wanted to reduce the friction in coordinating efforts so more time can be spent doing really meaningful work.”

Suffice to say that this isn’t the first site that offers a marketplace for people wishing to volunteer their time and energy.  Volunteer Match provide a matchmaking service for individuals wishing to help good causes in the UK.  Where that site tends to differ however is that most of the projects available are already in operation, they just need some help running them.

With MakeaDiff, the projects are merely at the idea stage.  So it’s possible that it will allow volunteers to have a bigger impact because the projects are not already making a difference.  It will be interesting to see how it develops.  Certainly one to watch.

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