App recommends opportunities based on news you read Volunteer Rosheka Robinson serves plates of food to guests at Sister Jean's Kitchen in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At left, Kamanda, founder of Ideal Impact (Noah Addis/Corbis, Ideal Impact/YouTube)
App recommends opportunities based on news you read
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Do you ever read about a problem and wish you could help? An app can help you. It was invented by Olivier Kamanda.

Kamanda was the former speechwriter and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton. He read a news story about Dasani, a 12-year-old Brooklyn girl. She and her family were homeless. The story went on social media. It made many people want to help homeless families.

Kamanda was volunteering at Miriam's Kitchen near the White House. It gives meals and social services to the homeless. The organization was about to launch "The Way Home Campaign." They would lobby the DC Council for more housing.

"I realized that if everyone who was moved by the New York Times piece knew about the Way Home Campaign, we'd be able to direct some of that energy towards tackling chronic homelessness in our city," says Kamanda.

He raised nearly $20,000. He used it to build a mobile app called Ideal Impact. The app determines the key issues in any news story. Then it suggests organizations that try to help. Suppose you read a powerful story. You think, "How can I help?" Ideal Impact tells you where to volunteer, work and donate.

In the following interview, Kamada provides some background and inspiration:

What problem are you trying to fix?

People may wish to help when they read about a problem. News stories about issues such as homelessness or climate change prompt us to get involved. But we dont often know how.

Meanwhile, 1.6 million non-profits are looking for volunteers, donors and supporters. Nearly 73 percent of charitable giving comes from individual donors. And on average, it takes non-profits 23 hours to recruit each volunteer.

Suppose we don't connect people who want to help with organizations that need support. We lose 90 million possible volunteers, donors or supporters.

So, what exactly is Ideal Impact?

Readers often care about news stories. Ideal Impact connects them with places to volunteer, donate, advocate and find jobs. Our mobile, web and digital media tools recommend ways to address the problems in an article.

How will the app work exactly?

You install the Ideal Impact app on your mobile or desktop. You can read news from any source. Suppose a story moves you. Click the Ideal Impact button. It will appear in the main menu of the app or your browser. This will load the app. The app will tell you about non-profits and action groups you can support. They have been approved by third-parties such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar. They've been reviewed by community members. In fewer than three clicks, youve gone from inspiration to a meaningful opportunity.

As you see it, what is the potential impact the app could have on volunteerism and financial giving?

We are re-imagining civic engagement. Our app connects people who want to make a difference with organizations that need support. As a result, we help lower the cost to non-profits of finding supporters. We also make it easier for people to contribute their time, talent and energy.

More important, the app can potentially show the true value of service. Ideal Impact helps you be part of a community, find purpose-driven work and feel satisfaction from helping others. These experiences define who we are. They show what matters to us. We hope to expand opportunities for people whose personal values include community service.

What's next?

Were working to launch our pilot in Washington, D.C. It will feature a test group of organizations our supporters recommended. Well use the data we gather from the pilot to refine our app. We'll build additional features. Then we'll offer the app to more non-profit organizations and action groups.

After that, we'll offer the app to media companies. It can help their readers act on their news. We can give them an Ideal Impact badge. It will integrate our matching formula into their websites. This should help news and media companies measure the emotional impact of their articles. It'll help build stronger relationships with their readers.

Critical thinking challenge: What non-profit and issue-oriented organizations would you recommend that we feature on our platform?

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COMMENTS (27)
  • HokettK-Sua
    4/26/2015 - 08:44 p.m.

    I would recommend organizations that help homeless and hungry kids in different areas to be featured on the platform. I think that this is an important organization to donate to. I think that it would help many lives. You would be thanked by the people you donate to. I think this organization is important since kids don't have a choice if they are homeless or hungry. Adding these types of organizations would give people more chances to help kids.

  • SophiaK-hol
    12/07/2018 - 09:57 a.m.

    I think a non-profit organization to help more homeless people would be great. This would leave a great and show the bigger meaning of this platform.

  • MaddieS-hol
    12/07/2018 - 09:58 a.m.

    I think you should have something to do with moms and kids and fathers and kids that are struggling.

  • ConnorL-hol
    12/07/2018 - 09:58 a.m.

    I think lots of non profit organizations that help homeless people in Los Angles. The Homeless people there are outrageous. I hope they can just go there and give food, water and any thing else they need.

  • MackenzieS-hol1
    12/07/2018 - 10:00 a.m.

    I think they should feature one for drug addicts and a way that is affordable for them to get help. Also one for alcoholics too, there should be one for child abuse. So for children that are abused by their parents.

  • DylanH-hol1
    12/07/2018 - 10:00 a.m.

    I think that this app should include a way for people to help out with the homeless and for lost animals. if someone has lost a animal anyone that has this app could download it and they could give a good description of the animal that they lost. This could help both the animals and the people into finding a good home for the animal while the owner goes to that house.

  • GeorgeR-hol
    12/07/2018 - 10:01 a.m.

    I would recommend things like homeless people's fundraiser or even an event that is non-profit and has a thing for the homeless so they can get back on their feet and live the life they deserve.

  • AllisonW-hol1
    12/07/2018 - 10:01 a.m.

    The Non-Profit and issue oriented organization i would like to see is probably toys for tots.There are countless amounts of kids that don't have any toys to play with.

  • TaylorM-hol2
    12/07/2018 - 10:01 a.m.

    I think we could also help by giving little kid chrsitmas presents if their families can not afford it. I think we can help out with our food pantry because a lot of people out there are really hungry. We could help and do food drives at sports events and clubs can help donate items for the people that do not have all the things that we do.

  • AlyssaW-hol
    12/07/2018 - 10:01 a.m.

    I think non-profit organizations like PAWS that help nurse and shelter domestic animals from harm and being euthanized

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