What happens when you combine volunteerism, opportunity and technology? A brand new iPhone app created by VolunteerMatch and imc². Not only does the app present a convenient, easy way to find volunteer opportunities from a network of over 70,000 participating nonprofit organizations, it’s being offered free.
Having just downloaded the app, I have to admit, I had some doubts initially. I had a hard time imagining how an app of this nature could function in a way that would engage me and hold my attention, and even add useful assistance in my everyday life.
Yes, I’m committed to volunteerism, but will you, dear app, really be different than websites and volunteer forums? The answer is a resounding yes. The app is intuitive and easy to navigate. Search results are abundant and can be filtered according to location, skill-base, keyword, or area of interest. It was a great call to allow search without forcing the user to register for an account or login first. It also links up fairly seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter if someone wants to share an opportunity with a friend or acquaintance – although you need to pre-sign-in through the “Options” section, which isn’t always apparant at first glance.
I think the only thing that is yet to be seen is how useful this app will be outside of the United States. I have to admit to being a little skeptical about whether I would actually surface any results in Toronto. So, when three location-based results appeared, in a way, I was pleasantly suprised. That said, it’s still only three for the whole of the Greater Toronto Area. Of course, there is always the option to include all virtual opportunities (I received two hundred postings), which admittedly suprised me. However, the user still needs to carefully filter through them. I seemed to get a lot of “virtual” opportunities that obviously needed me to be on location.
However, the potential is tremendous and this is only the tip of the iceberg. A really interesting app – one I’ll definitely be keeping on my phone.