On 19 July, Forgood officially launched their website after an initial 18 month pilot phase led by founder Dr. Garth Japhet. Forgood was developed by coordinated efforts of Heartlines, a media and social mobilization NGO, and Young and Able, a black-owned training and development consultancy.
The basis of Forgood is to connect NGOs and other initiatives in need of services and resources with a database of volunteers. Essentially, it’s a social network for a purpose. Companies, people, and NGOs can create a profile for free and post what they have to offer in terms of time, skills or items of what they need or want. This forum is called a “marketplace of good.”
The difference that comes with networking through Forgood is that volunteers are given a reason to help. NGOs will give rewards to volunteers after they fulfill a specific amount of volunteer time or donate wanted items. For example, Samsung will partner with an NGO to give away smart phones to volunteers who meet the hours needed. Because of corporate donations or a company volunteer network with Forgood, sponsors or companies can get government requirements.
“You do stuff, you get stuff. It’s incentivised needs… it’s a win-win-win. A cause gets resources and people, people get stuff to keep or give away, and sponsors get cause-related marketing enterprise development and CSI points,” said Japhet.
But not only can you get “stuff.” Forgood is helping students and the unemployed, creating a “social CV” to help better job chances. The foundation is working with secondary and tertiary schools to have volunteer work done with Forgood accredited.
With over 70,000 NGOs in the country, it can be hard for volunteers to find causes they can relate to. On the Forgood network, you can choose filters for not only the area you live in, but also what causes interest you instead of having to delve through thousands of results. With this data, Forgood will then send updates to user’s emails so that time isn’t wasted searching through the site, making volunteer work much easier to find.
While Japhet and his team know that volunteering is the right thing to do, the reward system is bringing in even more help. Using the network and its incentive program, NGOs will finally have the manpower to tackle crime, HIV, inequality and other significant problems that plague the country. With Forgood, we can do just as their slogan says: connect, inform and inspire for good.
To create a free profile or volunteer, check out http://www.forgood.co.za/
Image 1: The Forgood logo – Connect, inform and inspire for good.