A recent UC San Diego graduate wants to make it easier for people to find volunteer opportunities.
Sneha Jayaprakash, 21, is the founder of Giventure, a website that allows people to efficiently find volunteer work based on the hopeful volunteer’s interests and availability.
The startup has a goal of onboarding 100 nonprofits by next year, with the ultimate goal of listing 10,000 San Diego nonprofits.
Jayaprakash, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, said she created the platform after having trouble finding volunteer work herself.
“I volunteered over 300 hours in high school,” said the Bay Area native. “When I moved to San Diego for college, I looked for volunteer opportunities but wasn’t able to find anything that matched my skills, interests, and availability. I spent hours online scouring through search results, and some of the organizations I contacted took weeks to respond. I knew there had to be a simpler and faster way to find out how to make an impact in the community.”
During her freshman year, Jayaprakash gathered peers from her computer science classes to form Giventure. The team now has 12 current and former students with backgrounds in business, marketing and design. Their idea won Microsoft Challenge for Change, the USD Social Innovation Challenge, and the UCSD E-Challenge.
Now, Jayaprakash hopes to take her idea to the next level. She launched a fundraising campaign on the crowdsourcing website, Kickstarter, with a goal of raising $20,000 by Friday.
If the website is funded, it won’t just be volunteers who find success with the website.
“Making Giventure financially sustainable is key to growing the platform and making a greater impact,” Jayaprakash said. “We hope to generate revenue by licensing the platform to corporations for their employee volunteer engagement programs.”
Jayaprakash said nonprofit organizations are missing out on an estimated $1 billion worth of services each year from the lack of volunteers.
In 10 years, Jayaprakash hopes to double the number of active volunteers in the U.S. by 2020.
For more information about Giventure, go to www.giventure.org.
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