Published December 28, 2011
By Krysta Lilly-Brown, Maine Commission for Community Service Staff
Over the past month or so, the Commission has had a few special projects come up that have required some outside help. Two logos needed to be rebuilt, which goes beyond the expertise of the staff. In addition to the logos, the Commission needed some guest bloggers for the month of January. After putting these projects out through social media and newsletters with no response, it seemed apparent that the Commission needed to somehow broaden their audience.
In a staff meeting, it was decided that the projects should go out on a tool that is new to the commission, www.sparked.com. Sparked.com allows for non-profits and government agencies to post up 5 projects at a time for up to 3 weeks. The site then suggests the projects to registered volunteers who have the skill sets that are necessary for the task. The tasks must be one time only projects that can be completed 100% online.
Within 3 days of posting the old logos and the call for bloggers, all three tasks were completed and the quality of work returned to the Commission was outstanding. While the idea of e-volunteering is a new one that is not right for all agencies or even all projects,it has proved to be a valuable and useful tool that certainly should have a seat at the table. Not only were those outstanding tasks completed, free of charge, but the Commission was also able to find 2 highly skilled volunteers that can be called on for future projects.