More and more volunteers are getting involved in Germany. There are now over 17 million people across Germany supporting others. But where is the support for the supporters? We could no longer stand idly by the problem of many voluntary organizations and their confusing websites. The typical user can not navigate to the jobs he is looking for and ultimately looks for a position other than volunteering. In our increasingly digitized world, it is essential to allow people to network easily online and find new jobs where they can volunteer.
To help make the world a better place together, we built Dare2care. The neologism of "dare" and "care" describes a call for volunteers to engage in voluntary activities and jobs daringly, thus caring for their community, their conscience, and the people around them. Dare2care, supporting supporters, connecting lifechangers.
That is our name and our slogan. But enough big talk, let us show you what we are building.
We connect volunteers with Organisations who work with volunteers via our website. Our service can be summarized as a search engine specialized in finding the perfect voluntary commitment that a voluntary is searching for.
We kept our website as simple as possible to maximize user-satisfaction. Unlike many websites nowadays, Dare2care is embossed by "Form follows Function," a legendary principle of an entire art epoch. The Bauhaus style.
And that is what we did. We built a Website.
How we built it
When we do great work, people love asking how we did it. the Idea originated within a bright young mind in our team, and we kept on developing that Idea and advancing it to a business model until it was enough to start programming it. We built our website with the following hackstock:
Much work laid ahead of us. We had to create a frontend, backend and a CI Pipeline in gitlab in order to create our website and this is how our computermagicians ultimately did it.
We started by analysing the market. We introduced our Website and the core Idea, then we started a survey and asked what users thought of as the key functions of our website.
The Feedback was much greater than we expected. Combined with the Information we could gather through personla phone calls to voluntary organisations we had a solid informational base to build Ideas and functions of our website.
Challenges we ran into
It was hard to find out what already exists in our business field and then investigate how to service our customers better than our competition. After brainstorming with the entire group, many creative, innovative, and constructive ideas emerged. These ideas lead to our website's great functionality and its features, a great overall business model, and a concept of how our stakeholders' different interests are balanced.
The design of our website was a great difficulty we ran into. We were confronted with our corporate identity and what image we wanted to represent this corporate identity correctly.
After we agreed on a message that we want to send, we realized how time-consuming it is to design an appealing website with Adobe XD. Another programming difficulty we encountered was arranging various elements on our website because no one was acquainted with the framework "vue".
The last significant difficulty we ran into concerns our survey. We didn't know who would be suitable and willing to answer our questions. Luckily, two group members had a vast network of personal contacts that they could mobilize and motivate to take part in our survey. This way, we almost accumulated 30 People, which created a highly valuable information base for us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The greatest superpower of our team has got to be our reliable and transparent communication. We were highly available and committed to this project, leading to a high potential that we fully used. At the start of our project, no one expected this level of teamwork. We didn't know each other, but we developed a tremendous professional sympathy towards each other. It was fun, productive, and fulfilling to work on this project together.
We had a challenging starting point regarding our knowledge of tools. Therefore we are thrilled to say that we managed to transfer knowledge about programming tools to our inexperienced members.
We are proud to say that all of our members were highly available for the project, especially regarding the confrontation of problems and managing certain areas. We also generated a large number of ideas through unified communication.
What we learned
We learned how to organize ourselves according to the scrum principle, which was new terrain for some team members. We also proved that good communication is easily possible if everyone makes an effort to ensure that it works.
Many of us sharpened our skills and profited from the know-how of experienced programmers. We learned to develop business models and finding solutions for problems that we found.
We learned to trust our team and individuals to do what they were supposed to do in time and gained knowledge in dealing with upcoming obstacles in our time management. We developed terrific flexibility in moving around.
What's next for Dare2care
As mentioned already, our team is blessed by many creative minds and brilliant business concepts. So you may ask what we have planned for the future and how we want to expand the project to a worldwide platform. We plan to implement helpful functions such as "Who am I helping?" that will not make the website more complicated to use.
Furthermore, the idea of a Point system arose and woke our interest. This Point system will make it possible for volunteers to gather points for voluntary activities and, after collecting many of them, trading these points for specific discounts with various corporate partners, such as local fashion companies or sustainable shops.
To win these companies, we need a particular reputation. The value of a partnership with us grows with the influence we have on the volunteer market. The moment our brand becomes famous and known, it will generate a great marketing bonus for partner companies just having a partnership with us.
The more convincing aspect has to be the fact that we are giving discount vouchers to our members who gather many points, as they will tend to shop where they get discounts, thus generating a gain in turnover for partners. The greater our network becomes, the more value we can generate for partners.
Another great idea we are considering is that we can engage in a partnership with the State Ministry for Family, Labor, and Social Affairs. They are responsible for giving out Volunteercards. If they acknowledge our Point system, it is possible to negotiate a way to make it possible for volunteers to get an official volunteer card. That would be a great way to increase our reputation and motivate potential volunteers to use our website.
Our expansion plan consists of an iterative process of expanding from commune to commune. We will do our best to connect to leaders in politics and provide them with a solution for a few volunteers in their commune. When entire communes acknowledge our project, our reputation will increase, the news will report about us, and our network will grow rapidly. And as we learned before, the bigger our network gets, the more valuable we are to companies and the entire sustainability market.
Dare2care is a hyperscaling business model, fitting for the digitized world, providing a solution in the social sector. The social sector is very underrated because it does not seem like a place where we can generate a high turnover, but the reality is quite the opposite. Money flows where value is generated, built, and increased. And quite frankly, our world is cramped up in the thought of moving the digital revolution forward and creating a future close to science fiction. The competition is so great in this industry. But no one sees that we first have to make a balanced foundation between the social, economic, and ecological sectors. And playing a significant role in strengthening that foundation will be very valuable to future companies who entirely concentrated on the business's financial side.