GiveLight foundation has hundreds of volunteers globally. Today there are various ways in which a volunteer could sign up for this NPO. One being online registration on their website or sometimes just contacting directly to the core NPO team via email, text, verbally etc.
With online registration, the volunteers are needed to enter basic information with their interests. Volunteers can choose up to any number of interests, making them more generalist. All this information is stored in an excel sheet. Also a lot of the times, core NPO team adds volunteers who have registered offline.
While talking with the NPO core team, we realized that how cumbersome it is for them to look for volunteers in this excel sheet and contact them when the need arises.
GiveLight core team is looking for an easy way to search for their volunteers. The search could be based on the location, interests etc. They are also looking for an easy way to communicate with the volunteers and engage with them. They are also looking for a platform, where local volunteers can engage among themselves and Create NPO chapters in their local city.
What it does
We are looking to build a next-generation collaborative platform for GiveLight volunteers. The vision of this platform is to empower GiveLight and its volunteers to engage and create a robust online community for themselves.
Assumptions Each volunteer signs up with FB login for FB communication
The Platform envisions to provide Relevant and Seamless search for volunteers using heuristic algorithm Multi-channel communication with the volunteers. (Real-time and offline communication) Social media integration since the GiveLight Foundation is very active on FB. Gamification of volunteer engagement and honoring volunteers for their continued dedicated service towards NPO
Few sample search use cases Search for an event type:- Building a smart algorithm, to determine what set of volunteers with different interests would be needed to make this event successful. Search for volunteers near me:- Ability to communicate with local volunteers and start a discussion to plan events, campaigns, engage more volunteers or chapter discussions. Search for volunteers based on their interest and location:- General search volunteers
Communications Email communication, individual and group SMS communication through Twilio API Facebook Messaging to individual volunteers, if they are online.
Analysis of volunteer engagement Event size, location and volunteers engaged. Honoring of highly engaged volunteers.
Community and Forums for volunteers to engage Ability for core team to create a community and forum for volunteers to discuss Volunteers can message/query/share pictures etc.
How we built it
We are using MEAN stack.
Backend:- Mongo DB NodeJs ExpressJs External APIs
Frontend:- AngularJS Third Party widgets
Challenges we ran into:
Deciding on the tech stack to use and set up the environment, We want to be sure that our solution can be easily adopted and maintained by the current developer. Facebook APIs have very high level of restrictions and needs permissions which takes for days. We were looking to create FB bot or FB webhook to send individual volunteers FB messages since the NPO is leveraging FB to create events etc. Mongo DB connection on PayPal network would not work. Needed to use personal hotspot to get over the hunch
Accomplishments that we are proud of
- Finding a team who have expertise on various technologies and willingness to try new things relentlessly.
- Creating a scalable platform that would put an end to manual maintenance of the volunteer and their communication.
What we learned:
Customer empathy, Requirement gathering, technologies and external APIs.
What's next for Give Light Volunteer Management platform:
- Have account login for volunteers
- Volunteer gamification
- Volunteer profile management