OverviewAll for Good's mission is to facilitate volunteerism and community service. To meet that goal, we have developed a custom volunteer opportunity oriented search engine that is powered by the largest database of volunteer opportunities on the Internet. Our database of volunteer opportunities includes those from our many prominent non-profit partners as well as those provided directly to us by smaller, grass roots based organizations. Since we are a non-profit, we offer free of charge access to our powerful search engine system via our consumer friendly Website, mobile applications, gadgets, and our search API which is targeted towards organizations that wish to use our systems to power volunteer opportunity search directly within their own Websites and gadgets.
The idea of All for Good was conceived in December 2008. It was directly inspired by the call of President Obama to engage more Americans in service, the social media achievements of his campaign, and the online musings of Internet pioneer Craig Newmark. Influenced by these trends, a group of us from the technology, marketing and public sectors convened to solve a few problems:
- We wanted to create an online resource that would allow Americans to discover all the different ways that they can serve and strengthen their communities, including but not limited to conventional notions of volunteering.
- We hoped to leverage the tools of social media and enable widespread innovation by empowering developers and other individuals to contextualize service opportunities in their own blogs, Facebook pages, websites, mobile applications or any platform.
- We felt it was long overdue for the field to live by its own ethos and take an open source approach, allowing volunteers to review the code, to contribute new ideas, and to help build or improve the application rather than keeping it closed and proprietary.
We shared this concept with leading thinkers in the nonprofit sector and service community, many of whom immediately offered to contribute to this effort. We also visited Silicon Valley and talked through the idea with a wide range of companies. We soon found a receptive audience among some of the leading firms and most impressive thought leaders in the field.
A team of engineers and product manager at Google grew passionate about this vision. Some of the best minds at the company seemed to share our belief that an open model could be a powerful tool to scale up service and support the public interest. They agreed to collaborate with us on this vision and lend 20 percent time to build an application. Others quickly signed up, including Craig Newmark himself and leadership from the Craigslist Foundation who offered to provide assistance for our volunteer team.
With this momentum, an all-volunteer team came together drawing in these people and representatives from a wide range of other organizations including Aha! Ink, Craigslist Foundation, EchoDitto, FanFeedr, UCLA, and YouTube. We set ought to build and launch an application by the summer. We also worked hard to build a coalition of organizations who agreed to post their service opportunities on All for Good due to our commitment to function as a platform that would drive prospective supporters to their websites. Though this coalition has iterated since our launch, founding data providers included the following: 1-800-volunteer.org, 1Sky, AARP, American Solutions for Winning the Future, American Red Cross, City of New York, The Corporation for National and Community Service, craigslist, Girl Scouts of the USA, Habitat for Humanity, HandsOn Network and Points of Light Institute, Idealist, MeetUp, Mentor, Network for Good, Organizing for America, ServeNet.org, Sierra Club, TechMission, The Extraordinaries, Truist, United Jewish Communities, United Way, Volunteer2 and Youth Service America.
Our goal was achieved in June 2009 when All for Good debuted at the 2009 National Conference of Service and Volunteering held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Upon launch, we also announced the formation of Our Good Works, a non-profit organization that would manage All for Good and provide governance via its board of directors. We also proudly announced a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service to provide search capabilities to Serve.gov, a new website designed to enable Americans to find and share opportunities in their communities.
From that initial launch, our ad hoc crew has coalesced into a high-performing team. We have worked tirelessly to broaden our coalition of data partners, to expand our network of distribution partners, and to improve the core application itself. We are proud that several world-class organizations also have donated fiscal and material resources to enable our vision. Though we are very proud of our work to date - but believe that our best days and most significant achievements remain a long way off.
Now that we've gotten it started, we're looking to you, the community at large, to help us innovate and grow All for Good.
A New Chapter with Points of Light
In summer 2010, we blogged about the fact that we wanted to find more partners and accelerate our growth. We were thrilled that this post elicited a wide range of responses, including offers from groups seeking to provide data to more complex proposals from organizations that wanted to merge with our organization. But one offer was particularly compelling...
We were pleased in late 2010 when Points of Light announced that it planned to acquire All for Good. Points of Light is among the leading institutions in the service field. Its HandsOn Network is responsible for the largest network of volunteer management centers in the US. It also has a long history of building the field as demonstrated by its leadership role in co-sponsoring the annual National Conference on Service and Volunteering; hosting the Reimagining Service Task Force; and its co-chair role in the ServiceNation coalition. Points of Light brings incredible insight and resources that will elevate All for Good and accelerate its growth into the next decade. And in October 2011 this transaction was completed.
We are excited to complete the acquisition and grow with Points of Light to the benefit of our partners, our users, and the entire service community.
All for Good is a service of Points of Light. Points of Light inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. We connect people to their power to make a meaningful difference. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help 21st century volunteers use all of their assets - their time, talent, voice and money - to meet the critical needs of our time. Points of Light Institute operates multiple divisions including: HandsOn Network, the largest volunteer network in the world with 250 local affiliates; generationOn, the global youth service division that ignites the power of kids to make their mark on the world; and AmeriCorps Alums, a network of more than 120,000 experienced volunteer leaders. For more information, visit www.PointsofLight.org.