VolunteerMatch Seeks 50,000 Online Volunteers

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VolunteerMatch.org, an organization that helps would-be volunteers find causes by offering an online database of more than 12,000 nonprofits, has launched a $1.5 million campaign to double its average monthly match rate.

VolunteerMatch typically makes 25,000 matches per month, and a little more during the holidays. This year, executives hope to boost that number to 50,000 from mid-December to mid-January, said spokesman Jason Willet.

"Since the holidays are times when more people volunteer, we want to remind people that we are the best online resource available to get people involved in community service opportunities," Willet said.

VolunteerMatch has partnered with two Internet companies that are contributing free advertising to bring traffic to www.volunteermatch.org. Small-business software designer eLibrium has agreed to send 250,000 e-mails to its newsletter subscribers and run banner ads on its site. Internet messaging provider Mail.com is running 8 million banner impressions on its network, a collection of more than 40 sites and 100 Internet service providers.

At the same time, two Internet licensees are promoting VolunteerMatch co-brands: Women's Internet portal iVillage, and Helping.org, a volunteering and donation site established by the AOL Foundation. iVillage is sending e-mails to 20.5 million of their customers. Helping.org and parent company AOL.com are running 50 million to 60 million banner ads on their sites.

VolunteerMatch is not supported by advertising on its own Web site, but rather 80 percent from foundation grants and 20 percent from its four Internet licensees and 14 corporate licensees. These licensees use VolunteerMatch's technology and database of more than 12,000 nonprofits to promote volunteering. Internet licensees pay VolunteerMatch a percentage of advertising revenues. Corporate licensees, including Nike, Bank of America and The Coca-Cola Co., pay VolunteerMatch an annual subscription fee.

VolunteerMatch claims it has made 325,000 connections between volunteers and nonprofits since its launch in November 1997.

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