The triple-whammy of COVID-19, the deepest recession since the Great Depression and racial equity reform not only took a toll on business owners but has had a huge negative impact on the nonprofit world. The impact ranged from lost volunteer hours to canceled fundraisers to lost mission-driven revenue. Cincinnati Cares, a local startup designed to drive volunteers to where there is a need and connect donors and funders to the causes that matter most to them and their community, knew it was time to speed up its expansion to help the ailing nonprofit sector all across America.
Cincinnati Cares saw the decline in volunteering that COVID-19 was causing, a problem they knew they could provide a solution for, so therefore they sped up their expansion to be able to provide badly needed services to the ailing nonprofit sector nationwide. They broadened their platform to help connect the public to active nonprofits in the community that had an urgent need. This was an expansion from the traditional volunteer need fulfillment to a guide to nonprofit donation pages, guides to items or products needed, and an easy way for the public to find organizations in a community that is fighting racism and supporting social justice issues as well as those nonprofits that are Black-led or Black-founded. Cincinnati Cares’ platform is now live in 15 cities and in two statewide applications (Nevada and Massachusetts.) They anticipate another 10 communities will have sites up this summer, with another 10 by Labor Day.
They didn’t stop at the expansion of the volunteer platform, they doubled down on their board and skills platform launches to offer these to communities across the country. This was a natural extension of their community-wide nonprofit guides. Their next expansion is an example of where passion meets purpose. Cincinnati Cares has a passion for helping their volunteers who love to tutor and mentor kids, which led to them launching a free online platform that makes it easy for disadvantaged kids to get the math and reading tutoring they need to close the education gap made broader by all that has occurred in this tumultuous year. “With the COVID-19 crisis, we could have thrown our hands up and said, ‘that’s it, we’ll resume our volunteer ecosystem rebuilding when the world returns to normal.’ But instead, due to the vision and funding provided by Craig Young and his family foundation, we doubled down on making our nonprofit guides available to every community that wants one and further expand our skills and board platforms to those communities as well.”
Cincinnati Cares was founded in 2017 and calls HCDC’s Business Center home. Their mission is connecting volunteers and change-makers to design and implement better volunteer engagement for a more equitable society. Craig Young founded the company after seeing how technology had failed the volunteer ecosystem across the country for decades. Volunteering matters to nonprofits, the volunteer, and the community.