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Volunteer Odyssey launches Memphis-wide volunteer management system

Dr. Sarah Petschonek (foreground) works with volunteers at a Downtown volunteer pop-up event.

Local volunteer hub Volunteer Odyssey has launched a new volunteer management system. The organization hopes the platform, which matches seekers with opportunities at local nonprofits, will mobilize more individuals and corporations in Memphis to volunteer.
 
“While Memphis ranks high in per capita financial giving, our volunteer hours are lamentably low compared to other cities in the U.S.” said Dr. Sarah Petschonek, founder and CEO of Volunteer Odyssey.
 
“This system is an easy way for individuals to find volunteer opportunities that match their skills and interests, nonprofits to recruit volunteers and businesses to manage volunteer programs.”
 
VolunteerCompass
is free for individual volunteers and nonprofits. Petschonek said the platform will be a useful tool for individuals, nonprofits and companies.
 
The platform allows individuals to search for volunteer opportunities with vetted nonprofit organizations by cause, skill, date or age group. Non-profit organizations are equipped with a dashboard that provides volunteer metrics and connects the organization to Volunteer Odyssey’s database of individual volunteers.
 
Corporate users have the capability to track participating employees and hours volunteered in real time and volunteer reports can be downloaded instantly from the system.
 
While Volunteer Odyssey hopes to expand the platform over time, Petschonek says their goal is to have 60 nonprofits represented and 30,000 volunteer hours logged by the end of 2017.
 
Ten nonprofit partners are already participating in the platform: Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA), Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee, Clean Memphis, Memphis Botanic Garden, Porter Leath, Make-A-Wish Mid-South, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, The Dorothy Day House, and The Giving Hour.
 
In addition to nonprofit partners, Volunteer Odyssey is also onboarding Orion Federal Credit Union as the first corporate partner to use the system. Orion will use this platform to manage employee volunteer hours and track their impact in the community. 

“A big part of being an employee at Orion is volunteering, and we’ve spent a great deal of organizational energy in the past arranging, communicating, tracking and reporting our employees’ volunteer efforts,” said Daniel Weicken, CEO of Orion Federal Credit Union.
 
“The potential this platform has to streamline that process for us is huge and we were very excited when Dr. Petschonek invited us to be part of its launch.” 

Read more articles by J. Dylan Sandifer.

J. Dylan Sandifer is a freelance writer. A Memphian since matriculating at Rhodes College in 2008, she has also been a contributor for the Choose901 blog. 
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