MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's the first of its kind virtual volunteer fair, and it's officially available to Memphians. Volunteer Odyssey announced its online volunteer fair, Volio, on Tuesday.
It started as an idea after Volunteer Odyssey founder, Dr. Sarah Petschonek, noticed there wasn't an easy way to get plugged in to volunteer opportunities in Memphis.
Traditionally, a volunteer would attend an actual volunteer fair, visit tables and kiosks, and sign up for email lists. But the engagement and return on investment for the non-profits just wasn't there. People weren't getting plugged in and connected with long-term, meaningful volunteer experiences, often because taking the first step is unfamiliar and full of uncertainty.
Volio provides a starting point: an interactive platform with immersive video tours transporting the volunteer straight to the source. Each video takes the volunteer straight to the non-profit, walking through the front door with a welcome from the volunteer coordinator.
Imagine hopping on a bike with the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry as they deliver food to the homeless, visiting a Habitat for Humanity house, and welcoming a refugee family at Memphis International with World Relief Memphis. Perspective volunteers can experience that first-hand through Volio. They can see and hear what makes each opportunity one-of-a-kind.
"Volio puts Memphis on the map for innovation in volunteering. Not only is it the first of its kind in Memphis – it's a landmark platform for the entire country," said Dr. Petschonek. "Volio launches with five featured non-profit organizations of Memphis: Habitat for Humanity, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, World Relief, and the Carpenter Art Garden."
Volunteers who visit Volio will be able to contact non-profits directly. Both Volunteer Odyssey and the non-profits can track these interactions and keep record of how many people are volunteering in Memphis.
The platform was designed by Archer Malmo and is easy to navigate from your computer or your phone.
"Archer Malmo is proud to sponsor Volunteer Odyssey and their innovative approach to improving volunteerism. Their vision for a virtual volunteer fair inspired our team to create the brand and platform for Volio. We are excited to be part of the momentum at Volunteer Odyssey and look forward to more great things from them," said Russ Williams, CEO Archer Malmo.
Currently the site features Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, World Relief Memphis and Carpenter Art Garden. Volio is available to non-profits on a subscription-based model and offered free to users.
For information on joining Volio, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers interested in going to the virtual volunteer fair can visit www.voliovolunteers.com.