We met nearly two years ago and even then we knew we were on to something.
We were on the front porch of a rustic building in the woods at a conference focused on entrepreneurship as a force to bring good into the world. A serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist who spent a decade mobilizing communities and entrepreneurs around solving problems that really matter. A megachurch pastor turned tech CEO with an application that enabled nonprofits, churches, cities and schools to mobilize the people in their networks.
It immediately clicked for us that serving and solving should be connected at the community-level so that we could tackle the brokenness in our world. And over the last year we’ve been bringing our work together —serving and solving to bring about community flourishing.
VOMO was created to become a movement for good —mobilizing volunteers to meet the needs of their communities. Today hundreds of thousands of volunteers in 31 countries use VOMO in tandem with the nonprofits, churches, schools and organizations they participate in.
Builders + Backers was created to ignite action in communities across America with the most American of methods: experimentation and entrepreneurial action. From the smallest of projects to the biggest, boldest ideas, we can unleash the power of Buildership™ to become people of action. And, in sharing our challenges and our ideas for solving them, we will see the common threads that connect us more than divide us.
Then the coronavirus hit. Everywhere we turned people were hungry for ways to help. But they’re using emails, listservs, Twitter threads, and Google docs to cobble together ways to engage. And we found ourselves at a crossroads.
Our country needs a way to come together so we can help one another.
At scale. Right. Now.
So we’ve decided to make it happen. We immediately partnered to open the VOMO platform for free for everyone and every organization in any community that wants to use it to help us come together during the COVID-19 crisis. We called it the Be A Neighbor Campaign, and VOMO’s team was working 24×7 to add functionality specific to the needs of communities during the pandemic. And Builders and Backers was helping mobilize the nation and funding to make it happen.
After seeing the success of the Be A Neighbor Campaign, – over 150,000 COVID-19 related projects logging more than 225,000 volunteer hours – we decided we must continue to do this for other critical volunteer situations such as natural disasters.
So here we are today. Serving and solving together to help mobilize volunteers when they are needed the most. We can get through a major crisis if we pull together as a local community and as a nation.