connect / 2016
CoachArt Matching Platform: revolutionizing volunteerism in LA for those in need through technology
Please describe your project proposal.
The founding concept of CoachArt was to create an Ebay-like marketplace for students with chronic illness to be matched with volunteer coaches. The CoachArt Matching Platform will bring this concept to life by implementing a technological solution to our current volunteer program. We intend to move our entire process of engaging, training, and on-boarding volunteers online to reduce excessive overhead and time needed to prepare them to be matched with a student.
Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?
- Rates of volunteerism
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- Gateway Cities
- Antelope Valley
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?
Los Angeles is booming. From the re-emergence of a thriving downtown to having the third largest technological ecosystem in the nation, Los Angeles is a force to be reckoned with. Residents continue to find innovative ways to connect to the community and expand their impact. That community importance has also been prevalent in the world of volunteerism in the city. About 21% of Angeleno residents volunteer – giving 283.3 million hours of their time amounting to $6.4 billion of services contributed per year.
CoachArt wants to revolutionize how volunteers are matched to individuals in need by creating a platform to allow for ease, scale, and automation. We are a nonprofit that creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 22% of U.S. children live below the poverty line, and one to four of those children suffer from a chronic illness. Caring for a child with a chronic illness can put a financial strain on a low-income family – often 30-50% of a low-income family’s income goes towards healthcare and out-of-pocket costs.
We have approximately 400 volunteers working with 1,000 children impacted by chronic illness through different arts and athletics programs. Each month, we have a backlog of between 15-20 volunteers waiting to be processed before they can work with students, which have resulted in a 70-student waitlist. To solve this problem, we are working to modernize our volunteer program.
Our current volunteer training and onboarding methods are slow and inefficient. Once volunteers are recruited, trainings occur in person, which can take 4-6 weeks to prepare them to work with our students. Additionally, volunteers only have four opportunities a month to participate in these in-person orientations. This limits the number and quality of available volunteers for our students. We plan to implement an online system where volunteers can sign-up, be prompted to conduct their own background check, and follow a self-learner training portal. With the support of this grant, CoachArt will be able to implement this new system, modernize our volunteer program, and impact more students.
Moreover, our “moonshot” includes the creation of a replicable tool that will empower any current and future organizations with a matching model in their organization helping increase volunteerism rates in LA.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
For the project, we define success in how efficient and effective we recruit, train, and engage volunteers.
We will measure success in the following ways:
- Recruit volunteers more efficiently and effectively. We will achieve a 50% increase in the number of volunteers in our database
- Train volunteers more efficiently and effectively. We will achieve a 50% decrease by moving trainings online with self-learner functionality
- Provide a volunteer community. We will increase volunteer engagement by 500 instances online in the first year of the creation of the volunteer forum
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support
- Quality improvement research