NobleBridge is a volunteer initiative started by TreeTop Commons, LLC. It’s designed to pair businesses with nonprofits and charities. It’s goal is to create a strong volunteer culture in Portland and make it easier for people to find volunteer opportunities. That’s also the goal of NobleHour, TreeTop’s volunteer tracking tool. It’s taking corporate volunteering to the next level.
NobleHour launched in 2007 to help people and groups find places to volunteer. Mike Calvo, TreeTop’s director of sales and new business development, soon faced a huge problem. It was hard to find places to volunteer. On top of that, people were having a hard time fitting volunteer work in with their job schedules.
Fortunately, a new trend emerged in the past few years. More businesses see the benefits of giving employees volunteer time off (VTO) as the concept rises in popularity. According to a 2018 employee benefits report, it’s also become a way to attract new workers. Nowadays, Portland businesses are looking for ways to volunteer. However, they don’t have a way. “We see more and more businesses wanting to implement volunteer programs into their employee benefits, but are having a hard time getting started,” said Senior Director of Marketing Allison Hale. Sammi Campbell of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design summed it up perfectly. “Though volunteering remains important to us, the more complicated it is to facilitate, the less likely it is to happen.”
Making It Easy to Volunteer
Nonprofits face a number of challenges. They need more volunteers, visibility, donations, and engagement. The more exposure they get, the more help they can help. “What we do is so far-reaching,” shared Camille Daniels of Volunteers of America Oregon. “Getting our message out… that affects the sort of volunteers and donors we attract.”
Clearly, the desire to help one another is big, but a gap still remains.
To help bridge this gap, TreeTop Commons launched NobleBridge in 2018.
“We really benefit from partnering with businesses because it’s an untapped resource,”
How NobleBridge works
By matching businesses with Portland-area nonprofits, NobleBridge created a new way to connect with the community. However, it’s not just about matching the two sides. It’s about maintaining the relationship as well. The result is real change.
To get involved, simply sign up. Once signed up for NobleBridge, businesses and nonprofits can learn about:
- Engaging employees and teams.
- Engaging motivated volunteers.
- Turning volunteers into advocates.
- How to work with NobleBridge partners to reach new heights.
- What’s important to volunteers, and teams.
- What motivates people to get out and volunteer!
NobleBridge Tools and Resources
NobleBridge has a number of tools and hosts events for both volunteers and businesses. Some of them are:
- Regular networking and happy hour events hosted by NobleHour
- Access to new causes, businesses, and partners
- The chance to pilot new NobleHour features
- Insight into a partnership’s impact
Using NobleHour’s tracking tool, businesses can see the impact they’re having, whether through hours volunteered or in dollars. The information makes it easy for businesses to see why VTO works. “This [tool] lets us look at ROI from a financial perspective. It also gives us data to see what our employees are connecting to within our mission — not just the base dollar value,” said Katie Chaney of Gridworks IC.
On the other side, nonprofits and charities get reliable, skilled, and passionate volunteers. “We really benefit from partnering with businesses because it’s an untapped resource,” said Daniels. Best of all, volunteers make a difference in their home communities without needing to miss work. “It’s really about taking care of our employees’ general well-being and exploring the idea of why we go to work,” said Chaney. “What is work to us other than money?”
NobleBridge wants to help answer that question.
What's Next For NobleBridge
NobleBridge aims to match 50 businesses with 50 nonprofits throughout the northwest. This will start the year strong with engagement. During 2019, NobleBridge partners will learn how to work with one another, how to engage in volunteering, and how to create volunteer policies that’s benefit everyone.
NobleBridge hopes to make Portland the #1 corporate volunteer city in the United States. “We want to help businesses create and foster a culture of volunteerism with their employees. [By] providing strong community engagement support and our NobleHour platform, we are accomplishing that through NobleBridge,” added Calvo.
Since 2007, NobleHour has proven to be the volunteer management solution for organizations across the nation. With its robust online platform, NobleHour enhances community engagement with a variety of innovative and transformative tools for finding, tracking, and measuring volunteer, service‐learning, and community service initiatives. With offices in Lakeland, FL, and Portland, OR, the NobleHour team is dedicated to empowering good in communities across the country.
By NobleHour Special Contributor:
Latasha Doyle is a writer and long term care volunteer living outside of Denver, Colorado. When she’s not writing or volunteering, she enjoys crocheting, Netflix marathons, and planning her next trip.