NonProfitTHRIVE started from one woman’s desire to better connect nonprofits in her community to the hundreds of people she would meet through her job as a chiropractor that said “I would love to volunteer, but I’m not sure where!”
Nicole Sdao began an organization to fulfill this exact vision. She saw the older generations involved in Rotary Clubs and Kawanis, but the next generation was lacking in connectivity despite their use of the internet and cell phones in every other area of life. Through her organization, she began creating business plans and strategies that nonprofits could use to grow and recruit volunteers.
Fast forward to Eiger Lab’s 2015 FastPitch Competition when she came in 2nd place pitching her organization’s concept. As a result of the popularity and interest in her business idea after the competition, Thinker Ventures partnered with Nicole to help move from the start-up phase to finding a market and launching a website.
Defining the Market & Building a Brand
After winning the Eiger Labs competition and beginning to work with Thinker Ventures, Nicole’s initial business idea has honed in on connecting volunteers with the opportunities in their communities. The name “Nonprofit Thrive” became an obvious choice once the vision shifted from helping nonprofits find their own volunteers to actually participating in the process of connecting volunteers and local organizations.
This fundamental shift was based on an exercise Thinker Ventures did with Nicole to define the current market – both the volunteer as well as the nonprofit markets. Currently, nonprofits are in extreme need of better tracking and accountability tools when it comes to accepting and coordinating their volunteers. While volunteers are increasing in number and availability as more and more business, schools and universities are requiring volunteer hours from their employees and students.
From these dueling needs emerged the perfect business case for Nonprofit Thrive to serve as a portal for both the individual volunteer as well as the nonprofit. Primarily established as an online tool, the Nonprofit Thrive website was created to address the unique challenges of both.
Thinker Ventures helped accomplish the following tasks as a part of the Nonprofit Thrive business plan creation and website design:
- Custom-built website & branding
- Unique back-end algorithm for advanced filtration and search querying
- Flexible and dynamic for updating content
A Solution for Both the Nonprofit & the Volunteer
At Thinker, we worked with Nicole to map out the solutions that Nonprofit Thrive could provide to both end users. As a part of an extensive multi-session exercise, Thinker Ventures has helped Nicole create a business concept and execution plan for building the following functionalities into the Nonprofit Thrive website that Thinker created:
For the nonprofit organization:
- Manage list of volunteers and eliminate paper-based rosters
- Real-time volunteer sign-ups on an iPad or laptop at an event
- Have volunteer contact information all in one place
- Create volunteer lists and teams for specific events
- Easily pull reports for end-of-year volunteer hours
- Dashboard to show volunteer hours and economic impact
- Tools to help with grant applications and funding requests from donors
- Enterprise level for multiple-users, chapters and branch management
For the individual volunteer:
- Create an individual account and log-in
- Search and filter by various non-profit types and opportunities
- Contact or apply for a non-profit volunteer position
- Log volunteer hours
- Dashboard to show accrued volunteer time