Where volunteering meets tech: 5 startups that help you give back

by Liz Warren
August 9, 2018
image via shutterstock

It’s a simple concept: Volunteering makes you feel good. Whether it’s working at a soup kitchen every year around the holidays or joining the board of a local nonprofit you’re passionate about, any form of giving back can have a positive effect on you and the organization you’re helping.

And it’s not just on a personal basis — studies show that volunteering with your coworkers makes you more likely to stay at that job. Fortunately, there’s a number of local startups dedicated to helping you and your colleagues give back.


image via shutterstock

CariClub helps connect professionals with nonprofits they’re passionate about. The platform is able to make a big impact by partnering with employers and matching individuals with opportunities on an organization’s associate board, where they can hold more leadership roles in philanthropic work. Currently, the company works with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and others.


image via shutterstock

Beam is an app that makes giving back as easy as buying lunch. Restaurants partner with the app to make a portion of each purchase go toward the charity of your choice — at zero cost to you. The brand is working with a number of coffee shops and restaurants in the city, and is currently available in NYC and Providence.


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When you’re planning a trip and want an impactful, cultural experience, Visit.org can help. The platform connects travelers with educational, helpful activities all over the world. Through the site, users can plan a hike in Bolivia that helps preserve the surrounding community and cultural identity, or they can book a nonprofit tour in Tanzania that helps support local small businesses. Users can feel confident that they’re receiving an authentic local experience and helping the community all at once.


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Want to volunteer, but don’t know where to start? Catchafire is a platform that matches users with nonprofits based on skillset. Professionals who are good at writing can easily find opportunities to give back in the form of words — whether it’s contributing online research for an infant health organization or being a storyteller for a robotics startup. Users can filter projects based on skill, causes and more.   


donors choose
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Across the country, teachers are challenged to fund the necessary materials for their classrooms. DonorsChoose.org helps you support a classroom anywhere in the country. Users can find projects based on topic and location. From there, you can choose how much you want to donate, and then watch how your contribution makes an impact.


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