In a context where unemployment is a national issue, where organisations are faced with increasing pressure to develop a better skilled workforce and where young people struggle to find opportunities to improve their own circumstances, The Social Collective offers a solution through incentivised community-building and tracking technology with a core essence of volunteerism.
More than a Community Monitoring and Evaluation tool, The Social Collective provides a social employability profile, which tracks youths skills development and time investment through community based volunteerism.
Pillars of Volunteerism at The Social Collective
As a technology-driven social impact company, The Social Collective is committed to contributing to skills development, particularly amongst youth. Our platform, metrics and activities are anchored by the following pillars:
Initiative. We don’t work with traditional CV’s
Proactivity – We provide the technology, training and networks to equip youth to use volunteerism to gain more professional skills and earn a performance-based stipend. The individual’s success is largely dependent on his or her willingness to learn how to make the most of the resources provided, and then to do it.
Altruism – As a volunteer-driven platform, a desire for development (of community, company or self) through volunteering is a key driver of each user’s success. For instance, the more organisations, opportunities and stories shared, the more positive energy a user is putting into the eco-system of volunteerism.
Integrity – As an incentive-based programme that rewards administrative users (ambassadors) for successful completion and reporting of opportunities, users have a responsibility to report information that is honest, accurate and relevant to the vision of volunteerism for community development. This is vetted through peer evaluations.
Reciprocity – Volunteerism is widely regarded as a positive feedback loop, meaning that it is personally rewarding, not just dutiful, to give back to a community through volunteer work. The more users engage with volunteer programmes on The Social Collective, they more they gain in experience, networks, technical literacy and financial reward.
Experiential Learning – Given that youth unemployment is a pressing issue, it is important to track and reinforce core skills when and where they happen. We believe that volunteering opportunities provide real-world learning that theoretical education cannot buy.
Incentivising Volunteerism with the Ambassador Programme
Practitioners, Champions, Community Leaders or your community-based network are categorised as Ambassadors on our platform. Ambassadors are community leaders and administrative users of the platform. They have the inside knowledge about their communities’ or organisation’s needs and people. By using the platform, ambassadors grow to understand and leverage the power of volunteerism to help them people grow personally and professionally. At a high-level view, this is achieved through the ambassador’s experience of successfully creating, participating in and reporting on volunteering opportunities.
The Volunteer experience created by The Social Collective helped me a lot. It was great fun and inspirational experience which I’ve learned a lot from. It helped me acquire a scholarship (after) I added the experience to my CV
Given Mashaba, The Social Collective Ambassador, Tshwane
Ambassadors are volunteers themselves, but are key examples of the self-development that volunteerism offers. In connecting with organisations, finding and creating volunteer opportunities, managing and reporting on the opportunities, Ambassadors acquire the skills and qualities of managing volunteers.
The RISE Score: How We Measure Volunteer-Development
The RISE Score is a unique numerical score automatically generated for administrative users based on their:
- Reach – the number of organisations connected with and enlisted on platform
- Initiative – the number of volunteer opportunities created, marketed, managed and attended
- Submissions – number and quality of reports completed and stories shared
Evaluations – five-star rating given to administrators by attendees at volunteer opportunities
We have taken your community goals and built these into the technology. Each of the technical processes that administrative users (ambassadors) use in order to complete the task of find and manage volunteer opportunities provides an experiential learning opportunity for a number of hard and soft skills. These learning outcomes are measurable by the successful completion of each stage of volunteer management.
Experiential Learning Outcomes Indicated by the RISE Score:
- Computer Literacy
- Report Writing
- Event Management
- Social Media Management
- Research and Data Capturing
- Professional Communication
- People Management
- Personal Leadership
- Resourcefulness and Networking
- Scheduling and Time Management
Using RISE to assist with Skills Development and Empowerment Scorecards
Due to the lack of documentation and tradition of non-payment, volunteer work has not historically played a significant role in corporate skills development programmes. The Social Collective bridges this gap, in line with South Africa’s Skills Development Act and National Development Plan.By administering a volunteer programme with volunteers as programme managers (administrators) themselves, The Social Collective provides a working experience that not only benefits communities with much-needed volunteer work, but readies volunteers for formal employment too.
Since administrators (ambassadors) are paid weekly for successful programme management, the platform provides absorption of upskilled ambassadors into the workforce as a stepping stone to formal employment.With upskilling and payments, The Social Collective is killing two compliance birds with one stepping stone.
RISE for Employee Wellness and Training
A wide body of research confirms that employee volunteer programmes (EVPs) can boost organisational cohesion, employee wellness and even reduce training budgets. One landmark study on the topic refers to these as internal (employee motivation) and external (company reputations) effects. Essentially, by working on projects outside of the employees are able to boost professional skills, such as project management, in a lower-risk environment; whilst volunteerism itself helps to build teams, breaks down communication barriers and grow loyalty.The RISE Score captures the individual effectiveness of EVPs, thus allowing for better insights into how to manage and budget for volunteer programmes as training and wellness exercises.