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This article was published on June 30, 2011

BrightWorks: Social networking meets micro-volunteering for a cause

BrightWorks: Social networking meets micro-volunteering for a cause
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

BrightWorks gives charities and non-profits an easy way to connect with volunteers. While sites like Idealist act as a comprehensive tool for charities, BrightWorks cuts through the noise and gets straight to the point.

Using the new micro-volunteering tool, charities can instantly reach a network of volunteers, and best of all, it’s completely free. Charity organizations have a quick and easy tool at their disposal to dole out tasks to volunteers and have them completed.

BrightWorks is developed by Bright One, a volunteer run agency which helps charities and non-profit organizations with their PR and communications campaigns.

How does it work?

For the time being, BrightWorks is only available for registered charities in the UK. Registered charities can create one project, and within that project, a series of up to 10 tasks can be listed. Members who have registered on BrightWorks to volunteer can then claim a task and complete it.

Tasks can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours to complete, but not any longer than that, and volunteers can commit to up to 5 tasks at a time. Once a volunteer claims a task, they have 3 days to complete it, otherwise it will, once again, be open to other users to claim.

Once the task has been completed, BrightWorks will notify the charity and they will be given the chance to verify the work within 3 days.

The home page features a series of microblogged projects from various charities.

Clicking on the logo of any given charity will display a map of tasks on offer. You can also see who has claimed or completed a task listed on the page.

Why BrightWorks is a great idea

The BrightWorks concept is genius because it fits right into a mould that we are all already comfortable with – the microblogging mould. BrightWorks has taken a social networking concept and adapted it to fit the needs of non-profit organizations and volunteers – giving them the ideal meeting ground to actually get something done.

For volunteers, it’s a great way to make a difference with as many charities as possible. They’ll spend less time on the hunt for charities that need help or more time actually getting things done. And the same can be said for charities. Less time is spent hunting for qualified volunteers, and more time is spent connecting with people who want to help.

Just about any kind of project or task can be listed on BrightWorks – from something as simple as handing out flyers to copy-writing and PR work, volunteers can find a task that suits them.

What we hope to see in the future

BrightWorks is a brand new service and we expect a lot to come from them in the future. Expanding outside of registered UK charities, and expanding into other countries, could easily turn the site into the perfect companion to Idealist. There is no limit to the amount of volunteer and charity work that could be done worldwide with a site like BrightWorks acting as the middle man.

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