VolunteerMatch: An Online Service Helps Everyone Find a Great Place to Volunteer

Carnegie Corporation of New York



At the height of the dot-com boom, Jay Backstrand, a young Silicon Valley insider with a social conscience, first witnessed the power of the Internet to get big groups of people involved in vital community causes. He dreamt of starting a Website to expand that human capacity long-term and nationwide, recruiting three of his best friends to help make it happen. It was the right idea at the right time, and in 1998 they launched VolunteerMatch—now the country’s biggest, most popular Web-based volunteer recruiting service—which has since racked up more than 3.67 million referrals of “good people to good causes.”

Carnegie Corporation (along with Atlantic Philanthropies and the David and Lucile Packard, Surdna, and John S. and James L. Knight foundations) was an early supporter of the cutting-edge nonprofit, providing $800,000 to help get the enterprise off the ground and adding another $150,000 several years on to fund its efforts to become self-sustaining.



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