By now you've no doubt heard of this ridiculous thing going around the internet called NekNominations. The whole idea is to have a drink on camera and then nominate someone else to do the same, outdoing or one-upping the one who nominates you.
Last week, my brother, Iain, posted his video and what he did was pretty amazing. He had a beer, of course, but he also talked about how powerful the internet is and what kinds of incredible things we could be doing if we'd only use it for more than a drinking game. He then went on to send a small donation to Oxfam to support farming in third world countries. Iain finished his video with a nomination and a challenge to one-up him in the "doing good" category.
Andrew and I are all for sending out a donation instead of buying a 24 this weekend, but one problem: we're broke college students. So we came up with something better. Something that can benefit the world that we live in right here at home. Something that can make an instant, visible difference to our communities. We came up with a way to donate time. Introducing Interluude.
The idea is simple and starts in two places. One, you're like us and have a few hours to spare on the weekend or after work and want to do some good. Sure, you want to do something good for the world, but you also want some personal benefits, like resume-building, people-meeting, friend-making, skill-enhancing, things like that. So why not volunteer somewhere? Traditional methods of volunteering include registering with a service and filing out forms and forms and forms, or finding a specific activity and doing all the legwork just so you can help out for an hour. Not anymore. Log into Interluude with your Facebook, find your city, and sort by date and time. Choose a category or select a tag or even look at what you're friends are doing. Once you've found a project, hit volunteer, put in some basic contact info, and show up.
Two, you're with a non-profit, a school group, a private company, a religious group, or you're just you and you need some help. Usually you'd have to get a marketing budget or hook up with some media outlets to get the word out, or even use something a little dodgy like Craigslist. With Interluude, just log in as an organizer and add your project. You can put up anything as long as it benefits more than only you. We'll quickly approve it or work with you to get it approved and bam, it's up for the world to see. We make it easy to find and easy to volunteer with solid links to existing social media networks and everything is easily sharable. When you're adding your project, add a goal of how many man-hours you need and add some incentives (like a free t-shirt for volunteering an hour or lunch if you sign up for the whole day). This gives it an all-or-nothing mentality similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but if you don't hit your goal, it doesn't mean your project is canceled - that's up to you.
So there you have it: a revolution in volunteering.
We're aiming to have Interluude live in a few months, so bare with us as we work out some kinks.
Sam at Interluude