Nakhweh opens its social initiative to the crowd

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If 2013 was the year of crowdfunding, 2014 shows no signs of slowing when it comes to startups leveraging the power of the crowd.

Nakhweh, the Amman-based NGO, is one of the latest to open its platform to the crowd, now allowing any registered member to add information about social initiatives to its database, which forms the largest directory of social work in the Arab world.

On the new platform, named Al Deewan, Nakhweh will verify and then support these organizations by allowing them to post volunteering opportunities and gain full access to Nakhweh’s vetted database of potential volunteers.

“Our goal is to goal the directory of social work that already exists on Nakhweh, to provide people with information about social work across the region, and provide our volunteer mapping service to every single organization that is listed on our platform,” says Nakweh's founder and CEO Kamel Al-Asmar.

Nakhweh, which was founded in 2009 to support a culture of volunteerism in the Arab world, expanded in 2013 by launching its comprehensive directory for social work and encouraging social ventures to approach volunteers directly.

Today, the platform has a directory of over 20,000 volunteers from across the entire region, thanks in part to a boost from Al Majed Society in Jeddah. The site has listed up to 700 volunteering opportunities, 80% of which have been filled, while 100% of the items posted on the site receive a response, Al-Asmar says.

While Nakhweh doesn't do the volunteer matching itself, in an effort to make the service scalable, it does ensure that matching is occurring properly by following up with social ventures that post on the site.

The Nakhweh team has also honed its matching system in response to feedback, asking volunteers to specify interests and availability, in terms of commitment level and preferred days and times. This, Al-Asmar says, optimizes the matching process.

With over 800 organizations on the site, Al-Asmar hopes to triple that number over the next six months by opening the platform to the crowd. 

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