Meet Firefly Initiative - Sports and EventTech Program 2022 Cohort
This week- meet another member of our Sports and Event Tech 2022 cohort. We spoke with Ty Grupel and Courtney Smith, co-founders of Firefly Initiative, to learn about their vision for the future of volunteering.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, 30% of volunteers left their volunteering positions. They had been over worked during the pandemic and then, when COVID was starting to ease up, volunteers were hit with a whole heap of new compliance measures they had to enforce.
It became too much work for not a lot of reward. And while, at its core, volunteering is all about "doing good selflessly" there is an element of "what's in it for me", even if it is just that feel good sentiment that you've done something for the community.
But with the added strain, and limited support for volunteers, the work, stress and headache of helping out has started to outweigh the benefits.
Ty and Courtney noticed this systemic shift and are trying to do something about it. They're building a solution to help volunteers reap some benefits from their time and help the community to get back to having a pool of eager supporters to lend a helping hand.
How are they doing that?
They're getting businesses, that are currently feeling a push to support social good in communities, to support the volunteers through benefits and reward systems.
While it might sound complicated, it's actually pretty simple. Volunteers get a "gold card" for the hours they put in and these can be traded in for exclusive products and services from supporting businesses.
The volunteers receive benefits and rewards for their efforts and businesses get an accurate count of how much volunteer time they have supported. Businesses can then use this to accurately prove the amount of social good they're contributing.
Previously a structured approach to volunteering wasn't necessary. But things are changing. Incentivising volunteers with exclusive deals and product and then recording those exclusive deals and support in a businesses social-good measurement is the way of the future when it comes to helping the community.
Ty and Courtney attribute their success in tightening their message to Startupbootcamp’s selection days. They also appreciate the validation they have received from conversations with mentors since starting the SBC accelerator process.
As the program continues, Firefly Initiative hopes to perfect their design of their “volunteering as a marketplace” experiment. They hope Startupbootcamp can connect them with influencers, investors, and major brands who support their vision of sponsoring social impact around the world.
Excited about Firefly Initiative’s mission? Apply to be a mentor here