Collaborate was started by four co-founders who came together through a shared vision of making it easier to make change. The Collaborate app was born – connecting people to volunteer opportunities that match their skills and interests. The founders had each experienced how difficult it can be to find opportunities that work around their busy lives and where personal skills can really add value. The problem was not a lack of human resources, ideas, or opportunities, but a lack of connection.
Collaborate wants to make volunteering easy and effortless, so that more people can easily get involved in their communities. It invites anyone with a free Sunday afternoon or an evening after work to be able to easily put that time to good use. Since 2015, hundreds of people from community organisations, volunteers and change-makers have shaped the Collaborate app. Through brainstorms, hackathons, design sprints, surveys, in-depth user testing and hundreds of coffees their ideas and inspiration have created a movement.
Recently Collaborate and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa launched a coordinated, interactive volunteer platform as part of the Te Papa’s newest exhibit, Te Taiao Nature. The exhibit launched on the 11 May, and features Collaborate’s volunteer matching platform as a way for visitors inspired by the exhibition to become kaitiaki (guardians) of our natural environment. Guests have the opportunity to find volunteering opportunities in their local community across New Zealand and sign up to take action by volunteering for conservation groups when they get home.
Collaborate are currently working toward a new version of their app, which will improve the user experience, help organisations manage their volunteers, enable messaging between volunteers and organisations and many more exciting features.