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Collaborate turns two

31 October 2019

New Zealand’s first volunteering app Collaborate is celebrating its second birthday this weekend, with its team travelling back to where it all began in the country’s capital.

Inspired by popular dating apps; Collaborate was founded by four women who came together with the shared vision of making it easier to make a difference.

Since its launch 2 years ago in Wellington, the web app has attracted a team of 1,858 volunteers and has registered 459 organisations. Collaborate has so far had more than 400 opportunities posted on its web app.

“When we first began Collaborate, there was a real lack of connection amongst the volunteer sector. People had the skills and desire to go out and make a change, however there wasn’t an easy and accessible platform to find such voluntary roles,” said Collaborate co-founder and CEO Poppy Norton.

“Now two years on, Kiwis can sign up to our free web app that directly matches you with opportunities suited to your interests and skill sets.”

Collaborate currently offers its services nationwide, with regional teams launched in 5 regions. However, as a third of its opportunities are of a digital nature, the app has attracted volunteers from outside of New Zealand.

“When people think of volunteering, I think many still imagine bucket collecting or door knocking. While those acts are still effective and widely used, there are loads of ways you can make a difference.

“Our organisations are looking for volunteers to help with things like social media, web design, graphic design, accounting and much more. It’s been great to see people from across the country and internationally now be able to enter the modern volunteer environment in New Zealand within a digital capacity,” said Poppy.

In partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Collaborate is holding a ‘volunteer activation station’ on Sunday at Wellington’s Harbourside Market. The app’s nationwide team will be attending the event, while also spending the weekend in the city to plan for the year ahead.

Collaborate volunteer and TCS Business Development Manager Kerry McNulty said getting out in community and supporting organisations like Collaborate is simply core to TCS' operation.

"We're very excited to be partnering with Collaborate to encourage people and businesses to give back to their communities. At Tata, 66% of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held in philanthropic trusts, and giving back to society has been our core purpose of doing business for over 150 years.”

TCS long-timer Jane Hodgen based in New Zealand and Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Leadership Development, Asia Pacific said, “volunteering helps the community, volunteering helps employees’ skill development and volunteering helps employee motivation by giving greater purpose to our lives.

“In TCS we have a global initiative called Purpose4life to try to have 100% of employees volunteering more than 10 hours a year. Through Collaborate we can more easily find opportunities and we hope that other organisations will follow suit and leverage their platform to create positive and impactful ripples across our community. Happy Birthday Collaborate!”

Collaborate co-founder and chief of community Holly Norton said, “having skilled employee volunteers like the TCS team makes a world of difference to the number of community groups and volunteers Collaborate is able to support. By providing strategic support and business advice to communities, corporate volunteering can be a win-win for both parties.”

The Collaborate team will be at The Harbourside Market, next to Te Papa, from 10am-1pm on Sunday, with various activities and give-aways on offer. They will also be joined by volunteers from Surrogate Grandparents, Generation Zero, Special Olympics New Zealand and the Red Cross.


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