All For Good Update: Could Nonprofit Support Issues Impact United We Serve?

allforgood_questionsWe’re still getting lots of questions about All For Good from nonprofits who are concerned their volunteer opportunities are hard to find at allforgood.org, the new aggregation service behind Serve.gov, President Obama’s new Web site for national service.

All For Good doesn’t have live customer support. In fact, its governing organization, Our Good Works, doesn’t have a Web site at all. But after poking around a bit we found that All For Good is employing a tool called UserVoice to manage questions, complaints, and suggestions.

UserVoice is like a cross between an automated call center and a voting booth. There you can post a problem, see if your problem has already been posted, and also vote on problems to raise them as priorities for All For Good to fix.

With a lot unknown about how All For Good works, it is good news that there’s a place to lodge questions and complaints. We recommend our member organizations post their issues directly there. The system appears to be easy to use, although you will need to be able to describe your technical issues in a meaningful way.

But Will Your Issue Get Solved?

The bad news is that unless you have a posse of folks with the same problem who are all willing to vote together, it’s unclear when or how your problem will be addressed.

For example, a common complaint is that outdated listings continue to be published even after the nonprofit updated them on the primary Web site where it was posted. As Audrey Smidt writes, “I’ve updated information on my Volunteer2 site, but All for Good continues to publish the old content.”

Volunteer2 is less well-known than some primary partners like Idealist and VolunteerMatch, so Audrey may have trouble getting a mass of interest together to help solve her issue. According to the system, only three user-submitted issues had been marked as completed as of yesterday.

Timing Issues and United We Serve

According to members of the All For Good team, the next big code update is timed for late August. So some of the bugs could persist for some time — perhaps even up to September 11, the new national service day that is the lynchpin of United We Serve.

This raises the question whether some nonprofits that choose to post their opportunities at primary partners might miss out on a big chunk of United We Serve. Considering how much this is being promoted by the President, the Corporation for National & Community Service, and other heavyweights, we certainly hope not.

Have you been able to find your listings at All For Good yet? Let us know.

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