Companies looking for ways to interest their employees in volunteer service have a new and innovative option that offers multiple ways to support worthy charitable projects. Launched in early June, CauseWorthy.org offers members of the public ways to provide cash and/or volunteer support to specific on-the-ground, start-to-finish humanitarian projects, and stay engaged and informed throughout the projects’ life cycle.
For companies looking to launch or expand employee volunteer programs, the site makes it easy for workers to lend their support in ways that best align with their skills, abilities and level of interest, said Emily Harris, co-founder of CauseWorthy.org, while also providing a level of transparency that many would-be donors and volunteers are craving.
“Many nonprofits need help getting the word out to larger audiences about their projects,” she said. “Meanwhile, there are many individuals who want to give to a cause or project but aren’t sure where exactly the money goes. This site addresses both of those problems.”
According to Harris and co-founder Paul George, the site was based on the cornerstone belief that everyone has something to give.
“We’re trying to create a community where everyone can contribute something—whether it’s money, skills or promoting and advocating through their networks,” George said.
According to Harris, the group works directly with corporations to garner sponsorships for the various projects featured on the site. Companies can use their sponsorships as a way to promote skills-based volunteer opportunities for their employees, and in return they get their logos and other pertinent information displayed directly on the project page, giving them the “benefit of branding to their customers and potential customers, showcasing their commitment to giving back,” the group said.
Many companies, if not most, will likely find something on the site that aligns with their giving areas and resonates with their employees. CauseWorthy.org funds projects in several areas, including education, health care, clean water, hunger relief, disaster relief and anti–human trafficking.
For each project featured on the site, users can view a list of the specific resources sought by the nonprofit—whether that’s cash donations, in-kind services like marketing and communications support, or hands-on construction skills to be put to use on the ground. Any resources raised through the site are provided in phases and documented via field reports to ensure they are indeed being used as intended.
According to Harris, the vetting process is extensive and aimed at providing accountability from beginning to end. When considering a project to feature on the site, the group looks at things like:
- Whether the nonprofit’s budget for the past three years is transparent and publicly available.
- The nonprofit’s relationship with the end user of funds.
- What the resources will be used for, specifically and down to the dollar.
- If any funds have been raised for the project so far and, if so, how much and through what channels.
- What percentage of funds goes toward project costs versus labor.
- Whether the organization has completed any similar projects in the past, and what were the outcomes.
- How the project would improve the lives and health of the people being served by the organization.
- And whether the organization is capable of, and agreed to, provide video reports and updates, both during and upon completion of the project, to be featured on the CauseWorthy.org site.
The field reports serve several purposes, George said. Primarily, they provide proof to supporters that their contributions are leading to real and measurable progress in the humanitarian cause they are championing. But they also serve to raise awareness and reinforce an emotional connection to the project for even those who are not yet invested but have shown an interest via the site. Anyone that has pledged any resources to a project receives updates, as do those who have promoted the project through Facebook, Twitter and other social media, which is easy to do from the homepage.
“Everyone involved gets a front-row seat to see the project taking shape,” George said.
Importantly, the site does not allow for the solicitation of funding and resources to cover organizational overhead—all donations are given directly to support the project itself, whether it’s digging a well to provide fresh drinking water, expanding a vaccination program in Africa or restoring deforested areas in South America. Projects must have a clearly defined beginning and end, yielding a measurable result that benefits a defined group of people.
According to the organization, this offers employees some assurance that their support is having a real and tangible impact on people’s lives—or just contributing generically to a cause.
For more information, visit www.causeworthy.org.