It’s been a couple of years since we’ve checked in on Volunteer Odyssey so we were pleased to get a news release indicating that the important program is not only alive and well but it is prospering.
In a recent meeting with Sarah Petschonek, the founder and inspiration for the program, she said that they were working on a citywide volunteer engagement platform. The good news is that Volunteer Compass by Volunteer Odyssey went live today and it surpasses expectations.
When she created Volunteer Odyssey a little more than three years ago, she said her goal was to develop a pathway to volunteering that enriches the lives and communities within Memphis. With the platform, she is delivering with our first single platform, citywide volunteer management system. It aggregates volunteer opportunities for individuals and data for nonprofits and business.
She said: “This system is a way for volunteers to discover opportunities and solution for nonprofits to recruit and manage volunteers. In short, this system means less time managing the process and more time making a direct impact on the community.”
Here is the official news release:
Memphis, Tennessee — Volunteer Odyssey, a Memphis-based volunteer hub, unveils VolunteerCompass, a comprehensive volunteer management system that houses volunteer information for individuals, nonprofits and businesses to mobilize and match volunteers with opportunities for Memphis organization and track volunteer data in real time. The platform has been tested for by several nonprofit and corporate partners and is available today for new users.
“While Memphis ranks high in per capita financial giving, our volunteer hours are lamentably low compared to other cities in the U.S.” said Dr. Sarah Petschonek, Founder and CEO of Volunteer Odyssey. “We are excited to launch VolunteerCompass. This system is an easy way for individuals to find volunteer opportunities that match their skills and interests, nonprofits to recruit volunteers and businesses to manage volunteer programs. Our goal is to have 60 nonprofits represented and 30,000 volunteer hours logged in VolunteerCompass by the end of 2017.”
VolunteerCompass provides distinct benefits for three unique groups:
* Individual volunteers: VolunteerCompass gives individuals a one-click way to search for volunteer opportunities with vetted nonprofit organizations by desired cause, skill or date, allowing volunteers to spend less time searching for fitting opportunities and spend more time making a difference in the community. Volunteer opportunities can also be filtered by age-appropriate categories, such as by teens, families and retirees.
* Non profit organizations: Non profit organization staff who rely on volunteer services often spend several hours per week tracking volunteer data and uploading available opportunities to their individual website or social channels. VolunteerCompass gives staff a one-stop dashboard that provides instant volunteer metrics and connect the organization to Volunteer Odyssey’s large database of individual volunteers, thus allowing the organization to spend less time inputting data and recruiting, and more time investing in its mission.
* Business/corporations: Not all organizations have easy methods to track employees’ volunteer hours and opportunities, especially if there are many departments or divisions involved in volunteer work. VolunteerCompass allows company staff to plan, manage and house all corporate volunteer programs and volunteer-related information in one place. Companies can track participating employees and hours volunteered in real time, and volunteer reports can be downloaded instantly from the system.
Volunteer Odyssey is launching VolunteerCompass with ten nonprofit partners: Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA), Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee, Clean Memphis, Memphis Botanic Garden, Porter Leath, Make-A-Wish Mid-South, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry (UBFM), The Dorothy Day House, and The Giving Hour.
“The successful delivery of MIFA’s services depends on our volunteers. Volunteer Odyssey’s new platform will help us recruit and communicate with volunteers more effectively thus benefitting both our clients and our volunteers.” – Sally Heinz, Executive Director of MIFA
In addition to nonprofit partners, Volunteer Odyssey is also onboarding Orion Federal Credit Union as the first corporate partner to use the system. Orion will use this platform to manage employee volunteer hours and track their impact in the community.
“A big part of being an employee at Orion is volunteering, and we’ve spent a great deal of organizational energy in the past arranging, communicating, tracking and reporting our employees’ volunteer efforts,” said Daniel Weickenand, CEO of Orion Federal Credit Union. “The potential this platform has to streamline that process for us is huge and we were very excited when Dr. Petschonek invited us to be part of its launch.”
Volunteer Odyssey has also created Memphis Volunteer Week, April 23-29, as the local activation of National Volunteer Month in April. Events include a Pop Up Volunteer Party, and other volunteer opportunities throughout the week. More information will be announced in March.
VolunteerCompass is free for individual volunteers and nonprofits. The platform is currently available for Memphis organizations, and the goal will be to expand in the future. For more information about Volunteer Odyssey, or to register as an individual volunteer, nonprofit or business with VolunteerCompass, please visit volunteerodyssey.com.
About Volunteer Odyssey
Volunteer Odyssey was founded by Dr. Sarah Petschonek in 2013 with the mission to develop a pathway to volunteering that enriches the lives and communities within Memphis. The corporation launched the country’s first virtual volunteer fair, called Volio, and supplies volunteers to more than 50 nonprofits in the Memphis area.. For more information, please visit volunteerodyssey.com and follow Volunteer Odyssey on facebook.com/VolunteerOdyssey/.
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