With a New Recommendations Engine, Volunteering Becomes More Local and More Personal

As we celebrate our 7,000,000th match, VolunteerMatch is once again changing how people discover great places to volunteer.As we celebrate our 7,000,000th match, VolunteerMatch is once again changing how people discover great places to volunteer.

VolunteerMatch pioneered the online recruitment of volunteers by developing the first national network of volunteer opportunities in 1998. Since then, the organization’s evolving approach to helping good people and good causes to connect has led the way in online engagement: first with ZIP code-based search (1998), keyword search (2003), mapping (2005), social media sharing (2008), skilled volunteering (2011), and now with profile-based recommendations.

The new recommendations engine from VolunteerMatch is designed to make looking for volunteer opportunities easier and more compelling.

Better at Providing What Volunteers Want

The recommendations engine is designed to make looking for volunteer opportunities easier and more compelling. To produce the recommendations, new members are now prompted at registration to provide volunteering preferences, upload photos and communicate their skills and interests. The recommendations engine, which is part of an all new volunteer profile, displays the best possible matches from VolunteerMatch’s database of more than 70,000 active volunteer opportunities.

“Recommendations are the easiest and most powerful way for volunteers to find the perfect match,” said Russ Nelson, VolunteerMatch VP of Products. “By allowing people to focus on what they care about, we can focus on delivering the best possible content.”

In addition, the VolunteerMatch home page has been completely redesigned around the experience of the individual volunteer. To catalyze people to action, localization services now show actionable opportunities based on what VolunteerMatch already knows is going on in your community. The new home page also prominently shows virtual volunteer opportunities that can be accomplished remotely from work or home.

To catalyze people to action, localization services on the VolunteerMatch home page now show actionable opportunities based on what VolunteerMatch already knows is going on in your community.

These changes were released at the same time that we marked our 7 millionth volunteer connection! Our research shows that individuals who end up volunteering with a nonprofit through VolunteerMatch.org go on to serve an average of more than two years for that organization. This translates to more than $4.5 billion in comparative volunteering value generated for the independent sector by VolunteerMatch. More than 93,000 nonprofit organizations use the platform to engage volunteers.

“It’s an honor to help so many organizations do so much good,” said Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch.

The launch is the second recent major upgrade for VolunteerMatch in recent months. In November, we upgraded the design framework for our enterprise platform for leading corporations, campuses and brands.

Check out how the new home page and the recommendations engine at VolunteerMatch.org are helping the right volunteers find your organization.

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6 thoughts on “With a New Recommendations Engine, Volunteering Becomes More Local and More Personal

  1. Unfortunately our referrals have taken a significant hit downward since the redesign. We are a community partner and that is not helping. We need to know what is different now that contributed to that loss and if there is another strategy that we should be using.

    • Hi Frank,

      Sorry to hear that! This would be a great problem to enter into our Community-Powered Support page – you could see if any other organizations are experiencing similar issues, and get tips from the real experts – the tens of thousands of orgs that use the site successfully every day. And as always, you can reach us directly at support(a)volunteermatch(dot)org.

  2. Are organizations automatically able to have VolunteerMatch users see their volunteer opportunities through this Recommendations Engine? Or do organizations have to sign up for it? Also, I will be attending the “Recruit with the New VolunteerMatch!” webinar and hope to learn more about the new volunteer profile.

    I love the new design and ideas! Thanks in advance for help!

    • Hi Kim,

      Great question! The recommendations engine shows users opportunities based on the skills and cause interests they choose in their profiles – so if they’re a good match for your opportunity, it will show up. This ensures that you only get connected to volunteers who are a good fit for your organization. You’ll learn a lot more about the new profiles in the webinar.

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