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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Olivier Kamanda read the "Invisible Child" in the New York Times. It was about Dasani, a 12-year-old Brooklyn girl and her family. They were homeless. Through social media, it prompted an outpouring of support for homeless families.

Kamanda was the speechwriter and senior advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was volunteering at Miriam's Kitchen. It provides meals and social services to the homeless near the White House. The organization was about to launch "The Way Home Campaign." They would lobby the DC Council for more permanent 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 used crowdfunding to raise nearly $20,000. He used it to build a mobile app called Ideal Impact. The app determines the key social issues discussed in any news story. Then it suggests organizations that support those causes. Suppose you read a powerful story and think, "How can I help?" Ideal Impact can offer opportunities 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 are reading 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 constantly looking for volunteers, donors and community supporters. Nearly 73 percent of charitable giving comes from individual donors. And on average, it takes non-profits 23 hours to recruit each volunteer.

If we don't connect people who want to help with organizations that need support, we lose 90 million possible volunteers, donors or advocates for their causes. Their potential support in terms of service and donations amounts to nearly $207 billion in lost economic activity.

So, what exactly is Ideal Impact?

When readers care about news stories, Ideal Impact connects them with places to volunteer, donate, advocate and find jobs. Our mobile, web and digital media tools make recommendations for addressing 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. If a story moves you, you click the Ideal Impact button. It will appear in the main menu of the app or your browser. This will load the app, which will offer you opportunities to work with and support non-profits and action groups. They have been vetted by third-parties such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar. They've been reviewed by community members. In fewer than three clicks, weve taken you from moment of 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 using your skills to help others. These experiences define who we are and what matters to us. We hope to expand opportunities for people who see community service as a true reflection of their personal values.

What's next?

Were working to launch our pilot in Washington, D.C. It will feature a test group of organizations that are recommended by our supporters. Well use the data we gather from the pilot to refine our app and 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 that want to turn their news into actionable content. We can give them an Ideal Impact badge that integrates our matching formula directly into their websites. We think this will help news and media companies measure the emotional impact of their articles. It will 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 (28)
  • Phoenix R-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:36 a.m.

    I believe that it would be a good idea to have an article about the homeless going through starvation.You could talk about how the homeless need food and money and then say, one way you can help is by coming to the town hall to donate food or money now.

  • Aiden R-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:36 a.m.

    I enjoy that the app lets you see activities in the community.That can give an impact on someones life because the activity that the community is doing can be for you or someone else. P.S.i love you

  • Aiden R-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:43 a.m.

    I would recommend that you could tell people what they would recommend putting where,when,what,and why that event was happening.

  • Amia L-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:46 a.m.

    I think they should ask the homeless and the poor what they want or give them what they need.

  • Lupe G-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:48 a.m.

    I would recommend helping nursuring homes. one reason is because they have to stay in there and they need lots of help. Another reason is because they need money for doctors to see them. Last reason is because they might have family here but can't go visit them. These are the reasons why I would recommend helping nursuring homes

  • Annabelle R-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:51 a.m.

    I thought about a non profit and issue-oriented organization .Is to have more employees. To be able to process help for all . This app helped a ton of people fit in with the community.

  • Leslie H-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:51 a.m.

    I think that a non profit and issue-oriented organization.Is to have more volunteers.To be able to help with all of the work.This app will surely help everyone around the community.

  • Auron D-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:51 a.m.

    what none profit i would choose is amazon because they hit the 1 million mark and would be nice for them to help because they could become a bigger business so they wont need help.

  • Ella S-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:54 a.m.

    I think that what a non-profit and issue-oriented organization i would recommend is to get more volunteers to help. They can help with the environment by reading the news and doing other stuff to help the economy. For example, they can read the news and they can see what other people do to help the community. They can help the homeless like feeding them food or give them a little bit of money of food, or help pick up trash so we don't make the world a trash world, help fight cancer of ebola, and so much more! I think that the app is a great idea to help this world a better place.

  • Manuel V-rud
    12/06/2018 - 11:55 a.m.

    they should add cnn because it shows all the news like on what to help on or to know what is happening.This would help people with problems around the world.Also its entertaining but mostly for important stuff.This can make people a hero for helping out in the world

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