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connect / 2014

Mobilize 10000+ LA Residents Into Volunteerism Using DoGooder.LA

Mobilize 10000+ LA Residents Into Volunteerism Using DoGooder.LA

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Positive Minded People

DoGooder.LA Wants To Mobilize 10,000+ Los Angelenos To Participate in Volunteerism Via “Tracks” Using Our Friends/Reward Based App.

Please describe yourself.

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

DoGooder.LA Wants To Mobilize 10,000+ Los Angelenos To Participate in Volunteerism Via “Tracks” Using Our Friends/Reward Based App.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Nothing connects Los Angelenos more than our mobile phones. They are everywhere. You’re almost lost without one. So, how do we increase volunteerism using the power of cellphone?

Well, its not by just creating a regular mobile app that lists volunteer opportunities. That’s been done.

Its by creating an volunteering app that gives Los Angelenos tangible rewards for completing what we call “tracks” which are full immersion volunteering experiences and allowing you do it with your friends.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

Introducing our mobile app called DoGooder.LA

The apps shows you curated volunteer opportunities from all over the Los Angeles basin, even those you didn’t even know existed, and lumps them into fun and exciting “tracks” that you can start immediately and invite your friends to join through social media.

A “Track” consist of 3-6 volunteer opportunities, each called “steps”, lumped together. For example, if Homeless was your “track”, one day your “step” may include serving in the kitchen at Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission. The next day, your “step” may include helping build temporary homeless shelters with Habitat for Humanity in Santa Monica. The following day, your “step” may included could be passing blankets with Urban Possibilities under cold freeway bridges along the 110 at midnight.

By following each “step” within a “track”, you fully immerse yourself in your chosen area instead of just the limited experience you get by attending a one time volunteering event.

As you complete your “steps”, your accumulate reward points. Once you complete the entire track, you’ll receive online badges to proudly showcase your accomplishments and be able to redeem your points towards rewards like free Starbucks Coffee, Six Flags tickets, free lunches at Chipotle, gas cards and other items through our local business partners. Or, if you want, you can donate your points to the charity of your choice for charities to redeem.

There will be multiple categories of curated volunteering experiences from Environmental Tracks, Homeless Tracks, Children’s Track, Mentorship tracks, Animal Track, Social Tracks, Health Tracks, and additional categories giving you you full immersion into what it means to serve in LA.

In future developments, the app will allow users to curate their own “tracks” as well as a randomize “steps” within “tracks” to bring an element of surprise to volunteerism.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CONNECT today? In 2050?

According the The Urban Institute’s Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy in 2012, there are over 40,000 nonprofits and charitable causes in LA. By 2050, that number could easily double, if not triple, and so will volunteer opportunities.

LA needs a better way of making volunteer opportunities known and attractive by integrating technology such as social media and mobile apps like DoGooder.LA to stay current and connected through 2050.

If not, as technology gets more integrated with our lives and we become more of a distracted society, less and less people will likely not initiate volunteerism on their own as evident by falling volunteerism rates nationwide over the past 10 years.

That’s why our app strives to not only lay a clear path to find LA-based, full immersion volunteering experiences with rewards, but through volunteerism, connect LA residents to other people who share the same passion and values and build a more connected Los Angeles well into and beyond 2050.

Whom will your project benefit?

We believe this app can affect Los Angeles in three specific sectors:

Nonprofits - Access volunteers that otherwise would have been unreachable due to limited reach or limited marketing resources.

Community - Los Angelenos experience volunteerism without barriers to entry and providing a clear path to volunteerism. And, helping people make connections with people who share the same passion.

Business & LA Commerce - Users will want to frequent businesses that rewards and support community causes by using their reward points.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

We currently have confirmed partnerships with World Harvest Food Banks, Union Rescue Mission (Skid Row), Women’s Center for Alcoholism, Just For Detention, and Urban Possibilities and numerous other causes to provide volunteerism opportunities and resources. We have worked with these organization in past volunteerism programs.

We will work hard to curate additional organizations to create “tracks” with meaningful volunteer opportunities, which you normally would not find on your own and to help increase awareness to less-exposed causes in LA.

For user reward system, we will curate companies and business to provide giveaways, coupons, and more for Los Angelenos who complete “tracks” at retailers such as Starbucks, Target, Best Buy, clothing stores, and more.

*Bennie Mayberry, founder of Positive Minded People, has 6 years experience working in large scale, multi-million dollar online advertising campaigns for large brands including the marketing of top Apple and Android apps. As the founder of Positive Minded People, he also has a one-on-one understanding of what helps mobilize people to volunteer having served as coordinator of 60+ volunteer based events. These experiences coupled together make for a great combination for long term success.

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey in February 2014, volunteerism rates are at their lowest since 2002. When you segment data into age groups we also discover that volunteerism rates for age Groups 16-24 and 24-25 are at their lowest rates since 2009.

Our goal is to have 10,000 users complete at least 1 “track” over the next 2 years. We also plan to impact the number of people below age 35 volunteering by commencing deep research into trends using data our app will accrue.

With each track consisting of 3-5 volunteering opportunities, that’s over 30,000 - 50,000 volunteering engagements alone in Los Angeles from people who may not normally volunteer on their own in the first 1-2 years of launch.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

Because of the app, we will have access to extremely valuable LA based data to discover trends and conjure ideas on how to better spark people to volunteer in LA. Such metrics would include:

of Registered Users

of Hours Volunteered

of Volunteer Opportunities Increased Over Time

of Business Participating in Awards Program

of Volunteer Tracks Completed

Rate of Increased Volunteerism By Age Groups Rate of Increased Volunteerism By LA Community

We intend to use this data to present research and reports for our community. We will also use LA as a pilot that could become a model for cities.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

In 3 years, Positive Minded People have hosted a number of volunteer projects with great LA organizations. With that experience, we have a understanding to what makes people volunteer.

After roughly surveying our participants, we’ve generally discovered the same consensus. To increase volunteerism, people will opt for more immersive volunteering experiences initiated by someone else, a group, or when the barrier to entry is low and mapped out.

We also learned over the years, most participants do not readily know of the amazing volunteer opportunities that exist beyond major groups like the American Red Cross or AIDS walk.

This app answers those two basic observations. DoGooder.LA curates “tracks” that include volunteer opportunities you may not normally find or search for on your own. DoGooder.LA also maps out a clear, easy to follow volunteering “track” that takes the guess work out of volunteering including the wheres and hows. And finally, initiate your friends or be initiated to join tracks by your friends with the app’s social media component. a

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

1) Creation of the app: According to estimate from Kinvey, an app development company we consulted for this project that has experience creating apps of this scale, take generally 12-16 weeks to create such an app.

2) Marketing: We will strategize and engage an intensive marketing approach through social media, online marketing, local news outlets, non-profit partners, schools and colleges, street marketing, and more to gain 10,000 users to the app to being taking “tracks”.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

The challenges involved with creating a mobile app includes maintaining low costs and successful deployment and marketing of the app to drive users.

To ensure success, we will properly set aside funds to hire Los Angeles based, professional partners to help oversee both aspects, but also use the experience and expertise of our founder, Bennie Mayberry, as well as financial consultants, technologists, and marketing experts within Positive Minded People, which is 1200 people strong, to ensure success.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)