Clevermind IO - Academic research into mental health.

We're working with forward-leaning researchers to build new ways of understanding mental health and delivering care: Clevermind

Every great idea starts with a problem. For Clevermind ours was simple; researchers don't have access to the best technology. We're aware of this because we know that we build the best technology there is, and academic researchers weren't on our customer list.

It turns out that there's a pretty simple explanation. Researchers didn't know about us, and if they did, the procurement process and cost's mean that it would take too long to see the benefits of these new capabilities.

We launched Clevermind to change that and advance human understanding of all areas of mental health.

Instead of trying to sell to researchers and universities we would launch a new program to give it away where it could do the most good. A program that cut the leash on scalable research and opened up new areas of exploration. A program where we could work together with scientists as partners to build what they need to transform our understanding of human cognition and mental health. A program that might help the nearly 1-in-5 Americans suffering from mental health illness.

We believe that science shouldn't be limited by the size of a universities budget or a researchers ability to write yet endless grant proposals. It should be limited only by a researchers intellectual curiosity and effort. 

We believe that by making sure that scientists have the best technology, that we'll all have the best science, and that's the world we want to live in.



Salvation Army - the future of non-profits

WorldVue interviews Kelli Trinoskey, of The Salvation Army, who tells us how one of the most well known charitable causes in the world is expanding to do even more to help those in need.

Tell us a little about your organization and yourself.

The Salvation Army is a national organization and The Salvation Army in Central Ohio is a chapter, I guess you could call it, of the larger organization. We're everywhere around the country and in the world - but every area has their own mission areas that they focus on. So it is truly interesting, because we'll have programs that people in maybe Chicago or Minnesota do or don't run. It's just very interesting how the programs and services of The Salvation Army varies, but the mission is usually always intact: meeting basic needs. So it's usually food, clothing, shelter, education; kind of the real basic needs.

Personally, I have been with The Salvation Army for over four years and my role is to serve as the Director of Community and Public Relations. I handle all the media, all the print publications, the website, and I work with my team on events.  We publish a newsletter quarterly and an Annual Review yearly. The biggest part of my job is just getting our story out into the media, getting coverage, responding to requests for interviews.  Also, managing social media falls to me. Which is fun, and we've been able to grow our presence a lot, because nationally The Salvation Army has, in the last couple of years, gotten a lot more out front with messaging and sharing messaging. So, that has helped tremendously.  The overall message of doing the most good - who we help, how we work to combat poverty, is at the core of most of our social media messaging.  

How has social media, mobile, and digital marketing generally impacted your company?

Well we started on Facebook and we were kind of slow to engage, but our engagement has grown over the last four years by close to 300 percent.  Off the top of my head, when I started in 2011, I think we had around 5-600 followers or likes on our page. Today we have close to 2,500.  We have a lot more engagement with our corporate partners, our donors, and our volunteers. They want to engage. They want to know what's going on with the organization. It's really great because we can send out local messages or we can share content more nationally to educate everybody. Because again, I think the biggest thing is what you said - there are still a lot of people who don't know all that we really do. They think of us as only having to do with Christmas and Red Kettles, but it's great to educate and say, "Did you know we operate seven food pantries, we have four after-school learning centers, and we have housing programs?" It's just great because people don't necessarily always know that. So, I try to use it as much of an engagement as an education tool to tell our story.  On particular video we rolled-out this fall about a woman, Mary, who shared why she always donates when she passes a red kettle generated a lot of sharing and liking of our page.  It also generated a lot of positive comments.  

Twitter would probably be the second platform that we are most active on. LinkedIn, a little bit. We have a Salvation Army in Central Ohio page. A lot of our board members are connected through there. I'll post job openings and things like that on LinkedIn. My goal is to venture into Instagram this year, because we have so many volunteers, especially around the holidays, and we want them to make sure they're seeing their photos. It's just a whole other area that I think we could engage probably more of our volunteers. Just to give you an idea, we have 20-some thousand hours of service, mostly volunteers. They're out there and they're doing cute things like bringing their pets to their shift ringing the bell at a red kettle. So, we need the photos out there and we need to start sharing them and then also we have a Christmas program. It's the largest distribution of toys and food in Central Ohio, and we have anywhere from 2000 volunteers that help with that. It's just kind of a natural place to put everything up on Facebook, but, as you know, there's also Instagram. I know there are other social media platforms that are growing in popularity because I have a 19-year-old daughter and I know there's other social media areas that are hot and growing. I just have to be realistic on what I can manage and populate on a regular basis.

What trends are happening in your industry or with your customers that are affecting you?

Well, the assumption is knowing - because of the industry's trend - knowing that Facebook is not a  fundraising tool; it's just an engagement tool.  It could lead to donations at red kettles or online but we cannot assume that.   I added a donate button to our facebook page but it hasn’t garnered any donations to date.  And that's fine; we were like, "It's really easy to set up, go ahead and do it."  What has been more interesting is to learn is how other local non profits push out content.  I always feel like I don't want to be in people's faces too much. I've learned to really think about frequency of posts and content. Because you have to always judge what is worthwhile content.  What is just fluff and I really don’t want to get in the bad habit of oversaturating. I've gone to a couple of free, non-profit social media seminars, and everyone says it so important to be really purposeful with your content and with your posts.

I like to also post photos of our volunteers having fun.  I hope it will inspire other people to volunteer with our organization.  I mean that's kind of one way. A "look-back", or a feed to see what I think would connect. A lot more in line of "Did you know?" kind-of posts, or I think the other thing is just getting really good visuals that's going to attract people. Good visuals and cute kids! And videos, I've been putting up a lot more video, because I know that's always a big plus. So, good visuals. Sometimes I have better access through the national site so I often get really good stock photos. And then just kind of local flavor and local folks. We have a wonderful partnership with the Columbus Crew Soccer Club here. They're really supportive cross-promoting when they do stuff for us and when their players come out and volunteer. That, I know, is invaluable because they're sending it out to their followers, but also we're putting them on our page and that's going to make us appeal to a totally different demographic. So, partnering and sharing on social media. We're very lucky, we have a great partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. Again, another way to reach a much younger demographic through sharing posts. They come out to our events because it feels good, it's great, they like to give back. With The Salvation Army, it's very iconic, the brand. If they're associated with The Salvation Army, I think the feeling is it's a good tried and true organization. It's been around since 1865 and I think it's good for both sides of the partnership.

How is mobile impacting your marketing?

Well, the fact that a couple years ago we moved to a responsive website was huge. Especially if you look at the non-profit world trends with mobile giving and making it so that it doesn't drive you crazy figuring out how to donate. It's easy to navigate our website, which I think is huge. You have to be with the times and that's one thing that we're really working through. The other thing I've heard we have a partnership with MobileCause, and it'll be interesting to see how that is rolled out nationally and how it pairs with mobile giving. I just think it's funny because a lot of people will do searches on us and one of our biggest search inquiries is people wanting to donate a couch, or wanting to figure out how to donate, or they want to find a thrift store to donate to. We're so much more than that, but again we have a good website, we come up in searches, and that may be the starting point. They just want to get rid of their couch but they have no idea that by donating to our thrift stores, they are funding an adult rehab center for long-term in house treatment for those struggling with addiction.  It has really good results and it's life-changing.

The one here in Central Ohio is for men only, but our Dayton one is for women and men. Participants are fighting their addictions but they’re also getting work-experience. They're getting back on their feet. With a couch donation, and again, if there's a way to tell that story through social media, those are the fun posts, I think. "Spring-cleaning, give a couch, save a life."

We have to figure out this mobile giving. We have to get more on board with that this year. Locally, we really embraced our virtual Red Kettle, or online Red Kettle where people could donate online. The traditional kettles are great but if you don't shop at certain stores and if you don't carry cash, we're missing a lot of people who would donate. So, we really put a lot of work behind our online Red Kettle this year, and we had some really great results. We're excited as we move forward towards doing more online giving. It's really peer-to-peer fundraising, and it kind of was our first time. Locally at least. Nationally it's been going on for years, but locally we embraced it this year.

Our over all online giving is up from past years. And the other thing that we have found is people tend to give larger gifts online than they would even if they mailed us a check. It's kind of interesting. Our average online gifts are much higher than a normal donation. I can't really speak to the traditional Red Kettle because that's anonymous. I do help count the money and there are 50's in there, there are hundred-dollar-bills in there, and there's 20's. I mean people are extremely generous; it's really unbelievable.

How do you find Collaborative partners?

You know, it's really interesting because, especially around Christmas, we have companies that want to come out to our Christmas assistance program and volunteer in large groups, because it's a great atmosphere, helping the clients shop for toys for their kids. It's a huge scale operation. Just to give you an idea, last year, last December, we helped over 6,500 families in a week period. Just for Christmas and 21,000 plus individuals, almost 11,000 of those are kids; we gave close to 19,000 toys. And we set up this huge kind of Christmas toy shop and then a food shop. People went through the distribution lines with volunteers and it was fun and festive. So, all these companies and groups and organizations and families and neighbors, they all want to do this year after year because it's so fun. It's really hands-on and you're part of something so much bigger than yourself. We've been doing this here in Columbus for, I think way back into the 1930s. It's just the tradition, so we have no trouble finding enough volunteers around the holidays. Bell ringing is a little harder to convince people to try. Again, we have people come back year after year after year; they love it, they want to do it; they know they're really helping. But it's not as appealing to some people. Maybe if you're not very outgoing, it's not going to be easy for you, or if you have to stand outside in the winter, it's not as appealing either.

So, how do we engage new volunteers? We try to find groups, like youth groups, church groups, and specific organizations. We've even ventured into high school, because they have community service hours they have to fulfill. So we've had to be a little more creative. We've partnered with other volunteer organizations in town and supported other organizations. We went and did a volunteer fair for HandsOn Central Ohio, because we knew, "Hey, if we want other organizations to send us volunteers and help us, we need to help them." So much of it is partnership throughout the year.

We even have some corporate partnerships. Like if we are going to meet with a new company and ask for financial donations then we're also going to say, "Hey, if you want to volunteer, we have all these great opportunities to get your workers engaged and giving back to the community. Here's some volunteer opportunities."  I think you just have to really kind of package and offer an experience to people. Columbus is a very volunteer-centric place. There's just a lot of volunteering.

What do you look for when hiring or recruiting staff and volunteers?

For volunteers, I think we just engage enthusiastic people. We have a volunteer coordinator that gets a lot of calls from the public and she really tries to find the right fit for a person. She asks a lot of questions, like, "What are you interested in?" “Do you want to work with kids, tutoring in our After School Learning Centers?”  I think by matching people with their area of interest will ensure a more successful outcome and volunteer partnership.

Even with scheduling Christmas volunteers, there's so many different parts to the well-oiled machine. You know, "Do you want to work in the food area? Here's what that entails. Do you want to shop with the families? Here's what that entails." Really just giving people an idea that they will have a good experience. And hopefully return when we put out an SOS and say, "Hey we really need help in our food pantry. One of our trusted volunteers is sick and we need help with a huge shipment of food in the pantry. Please help! “  Then hopefully if they've had a good experience they'll say, "Oh, I've got two hours on a Friday afternoon. I'm going to the dentist and then I can come over and help you." It's all about creating a positive experience so that people are engaged and will help. Because, we do have a lot of those times when we just, for whatever reason, we have some event, and we don't have enough volunteers. In those times we have to reach out and we usually have a really good response. I think a lot of our volunteers are repeat volunteers and then they ask a friend to come along, and it just grows organically.

What is your philosophy on building and managing a non-profit?

It's a big question. I can tell you the mission statement of The Salvation Army.

"To meet human needs without discrimination"

Anyone who walks through our door is helped as long as it's within our ability to help them and they get treated with dignity. A lot of our programs, even our food pantry, is set up so our clients are treated with dignity. And they're not just handed a box of food that their family may or may not like. Instead, they get to shop for food in our food pantry. That's a very different model that we've rolled out in Columbus and it's really been embraced.

It's more about the clients that say, "Thank you," or "it's so wonderful I got to pick what I know my family will eat." At Christmas, we don't just hand them a toy for their age-range of kid; they get to pick it out. Again, it's dignity of choice. We're here to help you make your decisions but you have a choice. It's very empowering. So, I think most of it comes from the volunteers seeing that and embracing it. That's why they want to be a part of it. A lot of feedback we get from clients is that we made them feel good and that we didn't make them feel bad about their situation.

What do you think the future of non-profits will be and how will it be different from today?

That's a good question, because I think we're all competing for volunteers and funds vital to fulfilling our missions.  And there's so many great causes out there. I just think it'll become more robust with time. If you think about five years ago, even in Columbus, there's a couple of huge, really amazing charities or non-profit causes that weren't here five years ago. So I think we'll just keep continuing to evolve. Probably not so much for us in how we care for people, because I think that has stayed the same and it's now best practice and we're so respected for how we run programs as evidenced by repeat grant funding and the donations that come in the door. But I do think as the majority of our donors continue to age, online and social media use is going to just continue to increase.  We need to be able to ask millennials and younger generations for donations.

What are the skills that students should be acquiring today to prepare them to be future Non-profit leaders?

Well-roundedness, I would say. You have to wear a lot of different hats. You're not going to just do one job, and I think that's appealing. I think a lot of young students today have a lot of different skill sets and that's what you're going to have to bring to your position. It's really a good asset for an organization if you can do a bunch of different things, because you'll be asked. And some things you won't know and you’ll  just have to figure it out. So initiative is huge. Willingness to learn. Humility. I don't know how you teach that or find that. It takes time sometimes.

The good thing about students this age, I totally believe they're compassionate, engaged people. I think the non-profit world will be in good hands, seriously. They may not have the financial resources, but most kids or students today realize the value of giving back. It's almost part of their culture to be volunteering and to be involved. I think they're kind of going to have that built into their DNA as they move forward. But to just kind of look at any work experience, you never know how it's going to come back to be helpful. So be diverse. I think it's important.



Project Helping - the future of non-profits

Project Helping is a young, non-profit that uses the joy of purpose created by volunteering to improve mental wellness. 

Tell us a little about your organization and yourself

The organization Project Helping was started based on my personal experience of struggling with my mental wellness. I was in a corporate American job and it was a very good corporate job. I was really struggling at that time with my mental health and, for me, a big piece of that stems from an existential crisis of what am I really going do with my life to help people? What am I going do, that I can kind of leave behind and say I did that for the world? So, at that time I kind of stumbled into volunteering. I was invited to volunteer by someone else. I had never done it. And I was really moved by the experience of helping someone who would never know I was helping them and could never repay me.

Justin Kruger.jpg

I started to volunteer a lot. I joked that I kind of got hooked on volunteering. I volunteered a lot, and realized after some time, that the reason I was volunteering is because it was really good for me. It was a fantastic outlet for me and a way to improve my mental wellness. That realization certainly inspired me to try and share that experience with other people. I wanted to formalize what I had gone through in a very accessible, simple organization that people could get involved with and use the act of helping others as a means to improve their own mental wellness. So really we're in the business of trying to help people find their purpose. Such a powerful piece of dealing with - you know, your life - and some of the mental wellness struggles that everyone at some point is bound to encounter.

I think one of the things that gets overlooked about volunteering and about helping other people, is the incredible benefit it has for the person that does the work or for the person that does something for someone else. There's immense health benefits that go along with that. I started Project Helping based purely on the anecdotal evidence of, "Hey this worked for me. I believe deeply it'll work for other people." Fortunately, there's a lot of fantastic scientific research that supports what we're doing. But it isn't why or how I started the organization. Really, our mission's simple:

“We create engaging, fun, social volunteer projects to leverage the health benefits that volunteering has.” 

We also try to make those events ridiculously easy to sign up for, so that we take down all the hurdles for people to get involved in the community. It's that simple. That's really what the organization is. It’s a focus on putting people in a position to help themselves by helping others.

 What do you look for when hiring or recruiting staff and volunteers?

I say a lot that you don't get involved in the world of mental health by accident. The first thing that we look for, “is there a passion for the cause?” Especially in staff and people that are kind of working with us, but not necessarily our volunteers that are volunteering as a means to improve their own mental health.

Mental wellness is a difficult world to work in a lot of times. There's a lot of forces at play. You mention the stigma piece, and that's a massive, massive piece that we fight against all the time. So first and foremost, I try to find people that are really passionate about mental health and passionate about the work. I wish that no one ever had to struggle with their mental wellness, but it's not a reality. So, people that intimately understand it because either they've experienced it, or because they've been touched by someone close to them experiencing a mental health issue. That's a very important piece of how we hire.


The second piece of that is culture and, once we've determined that, we really spend a lot of time on making sure someone is a culture fit. I think that you can teach a lot of skills, but you can't really teach someone how to fit into your culture. So, those truly are the two big things we look at. We want someone that has a passion for the cause and then someone that culturally will be a good fit for what we do.  




How do you manage marketing your brand and getting your cause out there?

In the non-profit world, in particular, it's really easy to get wrapped up in how things have been done before. It's easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of a cause and the fact that what we do, what every non-profit does, is really important work. And I think that sometimes it's easy to lose sight of actually creating a brand around that. I think people tend to rest on, "We do really great things so, people will inherently be drawn to what we do." I think that's a huge piece for a lot of non-profits.

The word "marketing" is something that they don't really put a lot of time into. And I get it. We're all very passionate about our causes and that's where the majority of our time and resources go. But the best cause and the best non-profit is not really beneficial unless people know about it, they can come participate and use the amazing services that these non-profits offer. So we really focused early on creating a social or a digital presence. We have board members that are amazing at this. We have an FDO marketing expert and a social media marketing expert on our board. I would venture to say we spend more time than most non-profits on creating a really strong digital presence. None of that works, and none of that is possible, if you don't have a very clear vision for who you want to be as a brand. So we spent a lot of time early on making sure that we understood who we were, which is a modern, simplistic, light, approachable, fun brand. And that sounds a little unusual, I think, for an organization that's based on mental health to say light and fun and approachable. But that's a big part of the stigma, too, is that a lot of organizations are so set on how things have been, that we were okay with trying to buck that trend a little bit, if you will.

What unique and innovative ways do you take advantage of to attract younger age groups to your cause?

Well again, I think a lot of that goes back to the brand itself. I mean that's who we are. I think generally we're a younger group running a younger company. So we have unique approaches to that, but I think the majority of younger people at this point, obviously, spend their time on social media. They find things via Google. They spend their time on the internet. So our focus of having a strong presence there was, I think, the biggest factor in us being able to attract a young demographic, and our demographic is very young. Surprisingly, even to us, the majority of the people that volunteer with us, the majority of the people that participate, are under 30. At least that's our average age. So we definitely attracted a younger audience. Really bi-focusing on creating a brand that is more modern and also be present on all avenues of digital marketing.

What tools, such as social networks or other apps, have been the most helpful to you?

From a social media standpoint we focus on the big ones. We have a great following on Facebook. We're growing our presence on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I mean, LinkedIn we're still not as strong on, but generally the big ones we're really good at. We're a very virtual company. We don't even have a physical office space that we necessarily call home. We're completely virtual and intend to stay that way. One, we use all things Google, pretty much. We use Google Drive and Google Hangouts to collaborate. We pretty much use everything that we can find to collaborate. We use Basecamp as a task management tool and Eventbrite to manage all of our events and volunteer projects. Of course we use HireVue to onboard our volunteer event leaders. We really try to find anything that we can that allows us to work virtually. Salesforce, Basecamp, Eventbrite, HireVue or WorldVue, of course. And then all things Google, that's really kind of where we live.

There's a couple of pieces to that. One, there's amazing companies out there, like Google for example, that gives us AdWords dollars as a non-profit to spend. I mean, that's incredibly valuable to us as an organization. That we get 9,000 visitors a month to our website is in large part due to Google

How do you find Collaborative partners?

AdWords. There's so many, you know? Salesforce gives Salesforce away to non-profits. We have this amazing tool on the backend to manage our contacts, our opportunities, our donations and our volunteers. It's an amazing tool. There's so many great companies, and obviously, we use WorldVue all the time. So, great companies that are seeing the value of what non-profits do and really providing world-class productivity tools at little or no cost. It's just incredible what the opportunities are out there for non-profits to be productive, nimble and responsive. It's always mind-blowing to me the amount of help we're able to find out there from great companies like you guys.

How has your role changed since you came into the position?

I try to talk about this a lot, and I sometimes struggle with exactly how to paint the picture. But in any story you have the character; you have some sort of guide; you have some sort of call to action. Early on, in starting the organization, which I think lends itself to a lot of change-- early on I was the character, and I was being called to action by my experience in volunteering. And the call to action for me was to create something for other people to experience what I had experienced. Now that we're a couple years in, that role has changed and I've turned into more of the guide.  First it’s guiding our company. But, really more than that, guiding the people that want to participate, calling them to act and calling them to volunteer as a means to improve their own mental wellness.

The whole personality of the organization has changed from being called to act to now being the person that is - and by person really the organization - that's calling others to act and experience what I experienced. Philosophically, and from a high level, that's certainly the biggest change in role. The other piece is, as an organization grows, there’s a lot less time for me spent working in the business and a little bit more time spent working on the business.

Early on there's obviously a lack of resources to spend a lot of time doing all of the day-to-day things and all of the other regular pieces that need to be done to make the organization function. When you have amazing people, like we do, that help with the day-to-day pieces and really make Project Helping run from one day to the next you participate less in the day-to-day and more in working on the high level strategic vision, planning and growing the organization.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you see non-profits making today?

It's kind of referenced in what I said before, I think that a lot of non-profits rely on the fact that they have an amazing mission and an amazing cause, and that they're going to help people.They rely on that really to be their call to action. They rely on people to kind of find them and see what they've done and just assume that when people do, they'll inherently want to be involved. Whether that's as funders or volunteers or people that need their services.

So, I think the biggest mistake is assuming that because you do great things for the world, that you don't need to market that, and you don't need to tell your story and you don't need to spread awareness around what you're doing. I think that's the biggest piece. You constantly have to be working on your brand as a non-profit. The other piece of that is the word "non-profit" in and of itself is very misleading. If it were up to me, I would change the word "non-profit" to "tax-exempt business." Because, it's a business, and it has to be run like a business. And you have to be thinking about marketing; you have to be thinking about sales. Whether you have a product to sell or not, you're selling your cause and your organization. You have to look at it a little bit more like a business and a little bit less like a cause. Because the better your business is, the more sustainable your cause is. So that to me, when  you look at it like a business, comes back to the sales and marketing piece. You have to always be working on your brand.

It's actually a topic that I'm incredibly passionate about. I'm really passionate about the non-profit business model and how non-profits operate. And I think the future of the non-profit world is one in which they're run more like businesses, where non-profits realize that the things that they do have value, and they're not compelled to just give away everything that they do because they feel like they have to as a non-profit. We have a very unique model from the standpoint of we've actually created a technology platform of our own that's geared at inspiring more, or socially activating more people to get involved in the community. There's a monetization to that platform for us. And I hope that that's kind of the future of the non-profit world; running them a little bit more like tax-exempt businesses, where we can create more of a sustainable business model, where we're able to create revenue, and run our business like a business. The benefit of that being we can scale our cause and help exponentially more people. So, I hope the future is a progression in the business model of non-profits.




Habitat for Humanity joins the WorldVue Program

A ground breaking non profit for nearly 40 years, Habitat for Humanity (or simply Habitat) has been changing the world by making housing affordable and accessible to those less fortunate. 

Started in 1976 Habitat has been one of the world wide leaders in the fight against poverty. They are on the front lines everyday building stronger communities and giving families a place to call home. Habitat has affiliates across all the United States and across the world. A true world NPO that takes head on some of the most serious problems that people face today.

Habitat are world class disaster respondents. The Earthquake in Haiti in 2010 which destroyed nearly 190k homes, had almost 2 million survivors affected. Habitat set out to help nearly 50k families who were without homes. During the following year Habitat built nearly 100 homes, 150 community shelters, and repaired 350+ homes. More than 4,450 Haiti citizens were trained in construction techniques, financial literacy, disaster risk reduction and business development, which resulted in job opportunities for over 700 Haitians.

After nearly a year of talks, integration, ATS implementations, HireVue is the final piece to bring Habitat into the 21st century of volunteer/intern hiring. We are unbelievably grateful for the generosity of this organization and we're excited to make sure that they have the very best technology and services to help them fulfill their mission.

How will they use HireVue?

Habitat will be using HireVue to screen and onboard their many volunteers and interns. Habitat for Humanity has upgraded their hiring infrastructure around the board and HireVue is a piece of that change. They will mainly use us as a screening tool and to hear the stories and experience first hand from their would-be volunteers. They really love the OnDemand system and the variety of questions and easiness to build interviews. They are also stoked that HireVue can be used on all mobile devices.

Shoutout to a few members of our team: Ben Martinez, John Grotegut, and Mike Henneman were the heroes for Habitat. We had not talked to them for a couple of months and feared things would not move forward but Ben, John and Mike met Jeff Brock (director of HR) from Habitat and got us back on track.

If you're in SLC and interested in volunteering for our won local affiliate please check out their website -



Nonprofit Startups

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

"What's different about building a successful for-profit and nonprofit startup?

Not much, according to Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, an elite accelerator program in Mountain View, Calif., that accepted a nonprofit for the first time this month, "You could never tell there was a nonprofit mixed in," he said in a phone interview on Friday."

The article Nonprofit Startups Are Just Like Their Counterparts delves into the mindset that a lot of the advice you could give a corporate startup translate over to a nonprofit startup. 

In the article, Paul Graham says: "[I] began thinking about inviting nonprofits to join Y Combinator about a year ago. "I was talking to a friend who wanted to do a nonprofit project and I realized I was giving exactly the same advice I'd be giving to a startup," he said.

"Startups that get accepted into Y Combinator typically receive $20,000 in seed capital in exchange for an equity stake of about 7%. Watsi, a 501C(3), only accepted the funding. If this was a [for-profit] startup, they would have their pick of investors. They're going to present to Demo Day. A lot of people in that room are rich."

The corporate missions may be different but the foundations are the same. Nonprofits need close looks when it comes to investments. Technology and business are changing and we need to make sure we keep Nonprofts along with us.




United Way - Basic Needs Aren't Always So Basic

"The United Way is helping individuals and families meet immediate basic needs and provides education, training and resources to help them become financially stable for the long run. Here are a few more ways United Way helps:

Promoting financial independence
It can be hard to see any light at the end of the debt and poverty tunnel. United Way and its partner agencies are empowering individuals and families by helping them bank, save, budget and plan for the future. We also provide Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for many at-risk populations, such as youth aging out of foster care, women in transitional housing and low-income workers, where they receive help in saving for their future.

Getting families out of poverty
Poverty will touch the majority of Americans at some point during their lives, even if only for a few months. The good news is that poverty is not a fixed state. Roughly half of those who reach the poverty level will get out of it a year later. United Way funds partner agencies that are committed to helping families overcome the challenges of poverty by providing educational opportunities, job training, financial independence education and basic needs support.

Providing emergency needs
Everyone deserves food and a safe place to sleep. These basic needs are consistently the top reasons why people call United Way 2-1-1 for help. In fact, 60% of all calls in 2012 to the helpline were for basic needs. United Way funds much of the area’s basic needs assistance and helps put callers in contact with agencies that can offer this assistance.

Addressing the whole issue
Basic needs aren’t so basic. It’s important to explore the underlying causes: why a person needs food, shelter and clothing assistance in the first place. Whether it’s due to mental illness, a family crisis, unemployment, or a history of poverty, the system of agencies United Way supports is there to help the whole person and break the cycle of poverty."

Link to article -

The United Way knows what they do, however this article explains why  they do. A great look into the careful planning and education lengths they go to to provide top quality aid to those in need. 




Canada Commits $3.5 Billion to Improve Maternal & Child Health

From Saving Every Women, Every Newborn Summit

"TORONTO, May 29, 2014 – The Government of Canada today demonstrated its continued leadership in maternal, newborn and child health with a generous new commitment of $3.5 billion to improve the health of mothers and children for the period of 2015-2020.

UNICEF Canada welcomes this renewed commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children. These funds will save lives and build stronger communities and countries. This announcement has the potential to catalyze further commitments from other global partners and leaders.

Recently there has been rapid progress in ending preventable deaths of women and children. Through effective and more affordable treatments and strengthened health systems, the global rate of under-five deaths has been cut in half in the last 25 years and fewer women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth.

Despite these gains more must be done.

This year we have seen the increasing focus on the need to address infant mortality.  Newborn deaths account for a staggering 44 per cent of total mortality among children under five. The first 24 hours after birth are the most dangerous for a mother and her child; almost half of maternal and newborn deaths occur then. While we must continue to reach children with critical health interventions like vaccines and micronutrients, the youngest and most vulnerable children need our attention.

New investments to improve the health of women and children must be directed towards the poorest, most vulnerable and the hardest to reach. While global progress has been made close scrutiny of that progress shines a light on the women and children who are not benefiting from our global investment.  This is unacceptable and must urgently be reversed."


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Humane Society of Utah Meets No Kill Criteria!

From the article

The Humane Society of Utah is proud to announce the month of February saw the largest animal shelter in our state reach no kill status for the first time in the HSUʼs 54 year history!

With a live release rate of 91.71% in February, the Humane Society of Utah exceeded the national standards established to determine a shelterʼs no kill status. The HSUʼs open door policy makes this achievement all the more noteworthy. The Humane Society is an open admissions shelter, meaning we welcome every animal we can legally accept...approximately 11,000 homeless animals each year. More than 1,500 homeless animals have already been placed in safe havens during the first two months of 2014!

In the months and years ahead the Humane Society of Utah will strive to maintain the high standards achieved during February by finding safe environments for even more of Utahʼs homeless animals.


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VSO Rwanda


Partnering with UWEZO Youth Empowerment, VSO International is working with professional volunteers to help facilitate growth in education and assisting youth with disabilities.

"From the history of Persons with disabilities in Rwanda, there has not been any initiative aimed at advocating and raise awareness on the rights of youth with disabilities, in order to enable them live a life of a success and accomplishment.

Children and youth with disabilities are still abandoned by their families and they end up begging on streets, taxi parks, market places and other public areas hence loosing [sic] their self esteem.

Estimates suggest that there are between 180 to 220 million youth with disabilities worldwide and nearly 80% of them live in developing countries including Rwanda."

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The WorldVue Project


 HireVue Launches “WorldVue” Platform to transform Way Non-Governmental Organizations ­

Source and Select Their Volunteers worldwide


WorldVue is the First Official Solution from HireVue Labs, an Incubator Powering Inventive Applications of the HireVue Technology -



SALT LAKE CITY – January 23, 2014 – Leading Talent Interaction Platform™ provider HireVue today announced the launch of WorldVue, a full-service platform designed to meet the volunteer interviewing and staffing challenges of established non-profits globally.  Offered free of charge to qualifying not for profit organizations and NGOs, WorldVue leverages HireVue’s award-winning technology to help these organizations source, vet and interview volunteers. WorldVue is best suited for registered not for profit organizations that are volunteer-centric and have a global geographical presence.

“Technology should help facilitate social good.  Non-profits have suffered just as much as enterprise companies when it comes to archaic ways of identifying, interviewing and interacting with the best talent,” said Mark Newman, CEO and Founder, HireVue.  “WorldVue can help build the world’s best non-profits by allowing volunteers to better identify how they can contribute, and by creating a better volunteer experience along the way.”

WorldVue customers benefit from the same technology and full-service experience as HireVue’s customer base, which includes numerous Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart and Geico.  Non-profits can leverage WorldVue to more effectively identify, vet and recruit the best volunteer talent, leveraging a secure platform that allows for on-demand and live interviews, social sourcing, candidate rating, rating sharing with other decision-makers and branded landing pages. The not-for-profit organizations are fully supported as they implement the platform, from white-glove user training to 24/7 online and phone support in a dozen languages.  More information about WorldVue can be found in this short video:

“It’s simply unacceptable that even today lack of resources can stand between worthy non-profits and the best volunteer talent.  However, every day around the globe non-profits suffer from this very thing, particularly in instances of natural disaster or where volunteer needs are dispersed geographically,” said Jeff Barson, HireVue Labs.  “At HireVue Labs, we provide a technology platform for companies that are rethinking the way people connect and communicate – whether it’s a candidate and a prospective employer, a doctor and a patient or a politician and a voter.  WorldVue is simply one example of how we to incubate new and relevant applications of the HireVue technology beyond human resources.”

WorldVue is a project of HireVue Labs, the experimental startup arm of HireVue created to build new businesses that can benefit from HireVue’s core human interaction technologies.  Using software to reimagine the way people interact in an endless number of settings – ranging from healthcare to training to education – the HireVue Labs team works on solutions that disrupt the status quo. 

WorldVue is already being implemented by VSO, a leading international development NGO that fights poverty through volunteers, which recruited nearly 700 volunteers last year for placements in more than 30 countries worldwide. “Volunteers are at the heart of our organisation. We bring volunteers together with local partners to develop health and education services, opportunities to earn a living and to give poor people a voice. They share skills and experience to create lasting positive change worldwide,” said Ian Moffett, Selection and Induction Manager, VSO. “It’s important that volunteers have an excellent VSO experience from the moment they apply and that their skills are matched according to need with our local partners globally.  WorldVue helps us achieve both missions.”

 About HireVue & HireVue Labs

HireVue is making business personal again through social, mobile & video enriched workplace interactions. Our Talent Interaction Platform™ lets people tell their story and demonstrate their talents, enabling high-touch collaboration and insights – all at the speed, quality and consistency of digital. HireVue was recognized by Inc. magazine in 2013 as a top 500 fastest growing private company and HR Executive Magazine as a Top HR Product of 2012. HireVue is uses by forward leaning companies including GE, Ocean Spray, Medical Spa MD, and many of the Fortune 500 worldwide. HireVue Labs runs special projects like Clevermind IO; a program to provide HireVue's technology at no cost to academic researchers studying mental health and Timebridge; a free scheduling app for business

About VSO

VSO brings people together to fight poverty through the lasting power of volunteering. We work alongside communities worldwide to create positive change. Our programmes are in some of the world’s poorest countries reaching millions of people through improved access to services in education, health, HIV/AIDS, disability, and governance. VSO’s vision is of a world without poverty, but we can only achieve this by working together. To find out more, visit



VSO & WorldVue

HireVue, the worlds leading digital interviewing company, today announced the inclusion of VSO International into the WorldVue program, a program that provides free HireVue accounts for nonprofit organizations to source and interview volunteers.

VSO is a UK nonprofit that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries, brining people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and change lives.

VSO works in remote and rural areas in more than 90 developing countries, making it difficult to source and interview volunteers. 

VSO's inclusion in WorldVue provides a free HireVue account and gives VSO the ability to use one system to help source, screen, and select volunteers across geography and time zones, providing volunteers with a branded experience and making the selection process frictionless and fair.

About VSO

VSO is different from most organizations that fight poverty. We bring people together to share skills and knowledge and, in doing so, we create lasting change. Our volunteers work in whatever fields are necessary to fight the forces that keep people in poverty – from education and health through to helping people learn the skills to make a living. In doing so, they invest in local people, so the impact they make endures long after their placement ends. We’re also focused on gender equality and, increasingly, climate change. And we help poor people to get their messages heard, gathering public support and advising influential decision-makers.

About WorldVue

WorldVue is a program that offers free HireVue accounts to nonprofit volunteer organizations around the world to make volunteering easier and allow organizations to




Our WorldVue might be able to help you fulfill your world view.


HireVue is helping the worlds savviest nonprofit volunteer organizations build the Worlds greatest teams... for free.

We're looking to do some good for the World and it's people, and we think that we can be most effective by helping great nonprofits find, interview, vet and onboard amazing volunteers.

This new WorldVue program offers accepted nonprofits who are using HireVue for their internal hiring, free access to a second account to screen and interview their volunteers. You can check out the WorldVue FAQ if you have questions about how WordVue works, and they apply here.

NGOs that are accepted have access to the Worlds leading video interviewing platform that utilizes our battle-tested technical infrastructure and support capabilities which have served our many Fortune 100 customers worldwide. (Did we mention that it's free?)

If you're part of an organization which could benefit from the world's leading interviewing platform, please let us know. Just contact us or apply.