Courtesy of FWD>DFW

Dallas-based volunteering platform waives fee for nonprofits to be a good neighbor

by Allison Hatfield | March 23, 2020

Hard times bring out the good in many, and the coronavirus crisis has people in the D-FW area looking for ways to help others. Conversely, many nonprofits are short on manpower. In this video, which originally aired on Facebook Live, Morning After host and journalist Ron Corning talks with Rob Peabody, co-founder and CEO of VOMO, a FWD>DFW partner and platform that connects organizations with volunteers all across the world.

Right now, nonprofits can sign up for free, and The Dallas Morning News is helping to recruit and push volunteers to the platform, where they can find relevant ways to serve in their communities. It’s a powerful combination to get a lot of great things done.

Responding to a need

VOMO launched three years ago to help minimize the pain points of volunteering, but recent events had Peabody asking himself how he could do more in the moment. He realized there was going to be a strain on organizations that depend on volunteers, and he was compelled to act.

“The big turning point was when we saw the coronavirus begin to spread, and the idea of quarantine,” he says. He was on the phone with one of his investors, and he recalled the Be a Neighbor campaign the VOMO team launched in November 2019, when the Tom Hanks film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood came out.

”What if we resurrected the Be a Neighbor campaign now?” asked. ”Because the one thing that we need right now is for the nation to come together and tangibly help one another.”

Making the platform free

The other idea Peabody had was to waive all fees for nonprofits wanting to join the platform. Usually an organization pays to join the site and access VOMO’s volunteer recruiting and screening capabilities, which help nonprofits lower the cost of finding and managing volunteers.

Since relaunching Be a Neighbor and announcing on March 15 its services would be free, VOMO has had a new organization sign up every 10 minutes. Two days later, the platform had seen more new accounts than it typically would accrue in two months.

“Nonprofits are looking for a solution,” Peabody says. “They need a clearinghouse of opportunities to drive all the individuals to one place to find where they can serve.”

Recent days have also brought people in need to the site. Though not what the business was set up to do, VOMO is funneling those individuals to the organizations that can help them.

To learn more and sign up either as a nonprofit or a volunteer, go to beaneighborcampaign.com.

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