Today, nonprofits are always short on manpower, which compromises their ability to provide services like housing, food, and shelter to underserved communities. Imagine the social good that could be achieved if nonprofits had a constant stream of volunteers.

Let's motivate people to volunteer in perpetuity: if the completion of each volunteering task felt as delightful as catching a Pokemon in Pokemon Go, people would volunteer more, and they'd feel energetic and motivated as they were doing it.


What it does

Nonprofits enter tasks into BigBear, and those tasks get surfaced to potential volunteers. Upon completion of each task, the nonprofit rewards the volunteers with delightful virtual badges that get displayed in BigBear. The more badges a volunteer has on their BigBear profile, the higher their BigBear level becomes, and the more rare badges they unlock.

If a volunteer’s performance on a task is exemplary, the nonprofit can distribute kudos accordingly. These kudos also display on each volunteer’s profile and elevates their “BigBear street cred.”

How we built it

Big Bear Team started brainstorming the different problem areas in SF. We had an ideation phase, where we came up with different problems and symptoms that SF faces. There were three big criteria the team felt needed to be solved, Education, Unhoused problem and Mental issues. We discussed through the ideas of how to solve the problem. We drilled down to the fact that we can solve the problem if we have more volunteers. We then brainstormed ideas of what were the motivations that got viral. Boom came the idea of "Pokemon Go". So thats when we nailed down our idea of having a gamified version of volunteering that will motivate more volunteers.

Tech Stack

Big Bear HTML5 Webapp uses MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, NodeJS), Bootstrap WebApp is hosted in AWS EC2 server

Github Link:

Challenges we ran into

We first were thinking of an idea which limited the reward program to LinkedIn, however through volunteers, we came to know that there is already a linkedin for good available for this. We felt bad :(. However after brainstorming further, and talking to more volunteers, we decided to go beyond linkedIn and think "global social media" and stick to the solution that motivated the idea, which was "MOTIVATION", so we derailed from linked in and went with Pokemon Go.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of BigBear Idea. We are positive that once this goes viral, there will be a volunteering viral boom. Companies can get involved by having group activities to "collect" more badges by volunteering.

What we learned

There is a lot of help that tech companies can do in the fields of education and for unhoused people. Also "Stay Calm and Volunteer On"

What's next for BigBear

We prototyped leaderboard as an image for now. We want to work on that to make it a reality. Having leaderboard was one of the key motivation for games. We are planning to have Leaderboard at SF level, Country Level and Global level.

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