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Nonprofit Tech Firm Offers Covid Impact Tracker to Boost Giving and Volunteering

A nonprofit software developer is offering free tools to help major metro nonprofit groups track the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local charities and recruit volunteers to give their time virtually or in other “Covid-conscious” ways.

The tools were developed by Inspiring Service, a nonprofit created three years ago to reverse declining rates of volunteerism in Cincinnati by connecting volunteer leaders with nonprofit boards.

However, the arrival of Covid-19 changed the plan for the software. It is now being used to quantify, track, and highlight how the disruptions from the pandemic response have upended local charity fundraising and volunteer recruitment and to help get volunteers where they’re most needed.

“It’s a one-stop-shop for volunteering and donating in every geographic community that wants it,” said Doug Bolton, CEO of Cincinnati Cares, where the software platform was first launched.

A visitor to the Cincinnati Cares website can find numbers detailing the loss of money and volunteer hours for local nonprofits as well as how much has been given.

The data is gathered directly from local nonprofits, which enter information about canceled fundraising events and program-revenue disruptions.

As of April 17, the group estimates Cincinnati nonprofits have lost $130.4 million and 269,199 volunteer hours. Donors and volunteers have given more than $1 million and 424 hours of “virtual volunteering” to try to offset that.

Nonprofits also have the opportunity to share stories about their fundraising or volunteer efforts with users on the platform.

Bolton says Inspiring Service has received a grant from a donor who would like to remain anonymous that will cover costs to provide the software to 50 other metro areas. So far nonprofit groups in Boston, Charleston, W.Va., Cleveland, and Tampa Bay, Fla., have taken them up on the offer. Inspiring service works typically with large regional nonprofits such as a United Way or a local foundation to deploy the software. Inspiring Service is also providing the training and set-up to get the tools up and running.

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