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The Global Impact Group Project: Volunteer Surge

We are supplementing healthcare worker support at a rate faster than the spread of COVID-19 by training citizen volunteers.

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As our country works to flatten the “curve” of COVID-19, and as we anticipate a second wave of hospitalizations, we are living through an unknown length of time in a pandemic. 

How do we efficiently and effectively “spike” the curve of trained healthcare workers to outpace the current strain on our country’s healthcare systems?

Problems to Solve:

1) provide continuity of care through temporary and long-term supplemental healthcare workers

2) connect vulnerable populations with supplemental healthcare workers who can provide a variety of support (from mental health support to physical health support)

3) increase healthcare capacity to match the increased number of health inquiries on the periphery of the healthcare system (non-urgent cases)

What is the need are you focusing on?

Our healthcare system is under a massive strain as the majority of health professionals exclusively address COVID-related issues. This has left a significant gap in available care for vulnerable populations. Our project provides relief and support for vulnerable populations experiencing increased and acute social isolation during the pandemic. Primarily: homebound seniors, people with disabilities, and acute care cases. 

We are creating support for these populations by recruiting citizen volunteers, also addressing their needs for:

1. Economic opportunity: work stability and quality & streamlined work access

2. Community service: creating civic and democratic engagement through volunteer opportunities

3. Mental health and well-being: support worker autonomy and agency in a holistic and fulfilling manner, improving psychological well-being

4. Intrinsic satisfaction: providing an empowered feeling of contribution & accomplishment by offering tangibly impactful opportunities

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed
  • Sharing an actual pivot your organization has already made

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

We are increasing healthcare worker support at a rate faster than the spread of COVID-19. Our solution is implemented in three chronological stages: education and training, registration, and deployment of volunteers. Volunteer Surge provides education and training with quality assessments, followed by access to an opportunity portal that matches skills to opportunities. The opportunity portal is designed for enterprise standards and was created for freelancers and is used by many stable organizations.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

After education and training, workers complete a self-assessment form identifying their skills and talents. Then, worker-qualified opportunities are presented. Upon matching with various opportunities, the worker’s skills are utilized for either volunteer services or for pay. Upon completion of the opportunity assignment, other opportunities are presented, providing continuity, dependability, and the opportunity for financial stability. Worker engagement and impact align with how our project supports workers through Economic Opportunity, Community service, Mental health and well-being, and Intrinsic satisfaction. We will analyze our longitudinal worker impact using a predictability model to quantify worker satisfaction, job placement, and worker utilization. Since the course launch on April 9th, more than 2000 individuals have signed up for the training course. Through direct contact with global and national organizations, such as AARP, United Way, and Rotary International, we have proven organizational acceptance and willingness to engage. We are also performing outreach using social media, news and media, and word of mouth. Originally, this project was chartered to expand resources in the healthcare sector, enabling interested individuals to help those affected by COVID-19. However, we realized the potential for “sector jumping” that is created by the work platform. We have the opportunity to help workers expand their skill-sets and increase accessibility to new job sectors. Currently, our focus is on North America. The model can be replicated globally extending to anyone with access to the internet. Volunteer Surge has been constructed with the participation of for-profit corporations, philanthropic organizations, educational institutions, and member-based organizations.

What is the name of your business or organization?

The Global Impact Group

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Using emerging tech for positive social impact, The Global Impact Group's mission is to engage public and private organizations and to address humanitarian and social problems in the areas of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What is your profession?

Project Manager; Mental Health Tech Company (Foresight Mental Health)

Where are you located (country)?

The United States of America

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Activist/Community Leader/Organizer
  • Customer Experience/Service
  • Education
  • Entrepreneur/Investor
  • Healthcare/Medical
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy
  • Social Work
  • Unemployed

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 1-2 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Nonprofit/NGO

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Civil Society Groups
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

Start-up capital for The Global Impact Group and Volunteer Surge came from corporations and individuals who believe in our mission. There are minimal operational costs directly related to the technological and virtual construct of the organization and project. We need additional partnerships and funding in order to reach our goal of recruiting 1 million citizen volunteers.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Ensuring the volunteer deployment process is fluid and simple- requires additional software expertise and assistance.

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

People WANT to make an impact.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

We are collaborating with a consortium of NGOs and for-profit companies to market the Volunteer Surge opportunity. We are actively communicating with a variety of organizations to improve user experience and streamline volunteer processes.

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