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Proa

Proa is a digital platform that connects people who want to volunteer and/or make a donation, with social organizations that need help.

Photo of Margarita Briceño Malaga
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

52% of Peruvians want to volunteer but only 33% have done so (IMASEN, 2015). According to our investigation, 60% do not do it because they do not know about existing programs and 40% do not have the time to do it.

This means that there are 3.2 million Peruvians willing to volunteer but they do not due to a lack of information available. These people could participate on programs that would contribute to the welfare of society. Proa seeks to facilitate access to information to close this gap. We have started in Peru, but the access to information to promote solidarity is a global challenge.

Proa (http://www.proa.pe). Is the first peruvian digital platform that connects people who want to volunteer and/or make a donation, with social organizations that need help. We facilitate the search for volunterring programs and donation campagins for people that want to help. We make recomendations to them through their passions, times and location preferences. On the side of organizations, after we enroll them in our platform. We offer them a full administrator platform that works as a resourse managment software. On the administrator they publish their oportunitties, manage their volunteers, collect related indicators, upload their information, create a profile, among other options we have develop on a process of co creation with several of the organizations.

In the gallery we have attached a promotional video that describes our organization and a video that explains how we help social organizations spoken by WUF, one of the organizations enrolled in our platform that helps animals. Both videos are in spanish. We have uploaded subtitles in english, please in case you need them you can activate them clicking on cc.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our digital platform is a market place with 2 sides: potential volunteers and social organizations.

- Potential Volunteers: People who want to help a social cause and have access to a laptop or smartphone. Our current target market is primarily people from18 to 30 years old.We have connected more than 5,050 volunteers so far.

-Social Organizations: We have enroll 200 organizations approximately so far.
We mean by social organizations: NGOs, Social Enterprises, Goverment programs that need volunteers or donations for social programs. The Causes we define on the web are : kids and youth, education, construction, animals, environment, health, art and culture, others.

We also benefit indirectly the beneficiaries of the social organizations we work with by providing the organizations with better qualified workforce and alleviating the administrative work.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our web platform helps to connect potential volunteers and the social organizations. Our volunteer management web platform provides organizations with a toolkit to facilitate their management, supplying them with an administrator that functions as their resource system. To potential volunteers, we recommend programs that accommodate their time and preferences, with a simple ux and adequate suggestions to achieve an effective connection.

We are the first and only website in Peru of this type. We have an interdisciplinary team: systems engineering, industrial engineering, administration, art that helped develop the tool and the ecosystem in the right way.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Majority Adoption: I have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Proa is a social startup that seeks to create a more solidary world.

http://www.proa.pe

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Our own experience as volunteers and volunteer organizers made us fall in love with this activity, but we also saw all the problems that people had when they tried to enroll in activities. We studied the reasons why it was not promoted and we were motivated to close the gap that we found. We are true believers that volunteers can change the world and also change their own life with the experience.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

We are a bridge between people and social organizations. Volunteering is an enriching experience that forms greater human beings. A person develops important soft skills such as empathy and team work, and a strong connection with other volunteers, being a networking system.

In Peru the promotion of solidarity is important because we have gaps for peace, prosperity and Planet. Peru is historically a very divided society. Our capital Lima concentrates the majority of the development and 30% of population. This centralization of the economy generates indifference with the rest of the country and also with shantytowns inside Lima, as they are overlooked. This year our poverty level has increased to 21.7%; we still have peace conflicts in VRAEM and last year we had a major national emergency because of climate change.

In this situation, volunteering is a great tool to make more empathic people and a first step for the future change makers. We are working for a more cohesive society.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

- The social organizations that are members of our platform: They publish the volunteer and donation opportunities. we have also developed Proa Meetups that are exclusive meetings for the organizations in order for them to keep improving their programs. We select speakers from the top organizations and open the invitations to all members.

- Universities: They encourage their students to look for opportunities on our website and invite us to give speeches and participate on fairs.

-The media and influencers: recommend the use of our website

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Volunteers:
-Surplus of young people
-They are people that have already said they want to help but have not found the opportunity yet.

Social organization:
-We are the first digital platform in Peru, so they are in need of a more efficient tool. It an easier change because they didn’t have a system.

Geographic Focus

Peru (started in Lima)
medium-term goal Latin America
long-term goal Global

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The platform is already online. We hope to keep improving the different process of volunteers and organizations and expand our reach.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

16 comments

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Comment
Photo of Dima Boulad
Team

Congrats Margarita Briceño Malaga on submitting your idea to the challenge! Your idea is well researched and implemented, and visually well explained as well.

I would like to ask you a couple of questions so we can identify an area to expand on:
What would you say is your biggest challenge at Proa for the moment? Are you facing difficulties onboarding people or getting people to sign up? Is it that you'd like to have more organisations sign up?
In my experience in volunteering, organisations sometimes suffer from "one-offs", people who come help once, and then disappear. How can you come up with ways to make volunteers come back again and again, and incentivise them also bringing other people on board as well?

On the other hand, I would encourage you to expand a little on the virtues of volunteering in your idea here, and how it directly links to the challenge. How does volunteering help person's development, and thus contribute to a more peaceful prosperous world? Do you have some stories from "graduates" who have been volunteering regularly for the past 3 years? Let's hear how that changed them.
I hope you find this helpful!

Photo of Margarita Briceño Malaga
Team

Hi Dima, thank you so much for your kind reply. I will update the application with your suggestions.

Yes, the “one-offs” is a problem we would love to solve as well for organizations. Volunteers loyalty is crucial for the sustainability of their programs and the impact a volunteer can have in a community is incredibly bigger when they create a bond of confidence with them, showing they really care with their compromise. We actively promote commitment in the volunteers and we believe being a volunteer is not just showing up one day.

Our system, for now, helps more the first step, having the first experience as a volunteer. We believed that if you go once to a volunteer program, it will open you eyes to reality and the importance of your actions. But is not just used for the first time. Organizations enrolled post all their programs and volunteers must sign up each time, for a systematic follow up. Also we have identified we help with a second problem: the rate of people that sign up vs the people actually show up. Our rate is higher, because people enter into is a web specialized on volunteer, is not just a "will asist" on Facebook; they must leave their personal info; and we send reminders a day before and week before.

To help further with the “one-offs” problem we have on our road map the development of gamification on the web. Giving points so you can become a Jedi volunteer or gain discounts on your favorite stores, but we are still giving spinning the idea and researching. Because we have also found research that show that giving rewards as discounts can kill the esscence of philanthropy and making more oriented to a job. So, we want to do it on the right way. Also us I shortly mentioned on the application, we have the Proa Meetups were we have always a key note of un expert organization and volunteer loyalty is one of the topics we have presented. Peru Champs a top local organization have preseted their stategies, and we will continue to teach best practices on the topic.

Great idea on the stories from volunteers, we will contact them to get some experiences. And also we will start by adding some more virtues studied and lived by our team.

Thank you! :D

Photo of Margarita Briceño Malaga
Team

Hi Dima, we have updated the answer of the local context of your project, that we understood its was the question you recommend to improve. We hope it makes more explicit the direct links to the challenge. We also know of some experiences of volunteers that found their volunteer experience in Proa, I dont know where it could fit directly, but we have used those experiences as part of the insights for our answers.

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