Read on to learn about an organization that's making it easy with a resource that helps to connect volunteers with causes that align well with their values and passions.
You’ve decided you want to volunteer and give back to the community. What’s the next step? That’s where Cincinnati Cares can help.
“Cincinnati Cares is an organization and a technology platform that hosts a free community-wide volunteer guide that is now our region’s most popular way for volunteers to find their way to help,” says Douglas Bolton, President and CEO. “This service is free to volunteers and the more than 500 nonprofits, whose volunteer opportunities are kept updated through beautiful technology that is frictionless, password free and mobile friendly. The platform is the first project of a two-year-old 501(c)(3) called Inspiring Service.”
The nonprofit is located at 1776 Mentor Avenue, Norwood, Ohio, in the HCDC Business Incubator and was launched in late 2017. “The inspiration behind Cincinnati Cares came from a concern for the health of people in our region. Craig Young founded Inspiring Service out of concern for the health of our regions and our nation’s volunteer ecosystem,” Bolton explains. “Volunteerism has been in decline nationally and has declined in Greater Cincinnati at a twice the national rate. A technology entrepreneur who sold his companies in the late 1990s and has been engaged in philanthropy and volunteerism for the past two decades, Craig is building an organization that, through programming and technology, will help reverse decades of disinvestment in the volunteer ecosystem.”
Bolton partnered with Young last year, as a consultant, in order to help establish the platform and set the strategy and became the CEO of Cincinnati Cares at the beginning of 2019. “Craig is chair of our board and continues to focus on our technology, as well as Inspiring Service’s work outside Greater Cincinnati,” he explains. “Communities from coast to coast have noticed what we are doing and have asked us to export our technology to them.”
According to Bolton, the mission of Cincinnati Cares is “to inspire and empower people and organizations to engage in volunteering that improves and strengthens their community and themselves.”
The organization defines success by helping individuals to “find their way to help, working with businesses to improve their community engagement and strengthening the nonprofit sector’s engagement of volunteers,” he says. “We hope to reverse the declines in volunteerism rates and we believe we are already contributing to that.”
Cincinnati Cares is a unique organization. It’s “the only 100 percent volunteer-focused organization in the Greater Cincinnati region,” Bolton says, adding that he wants people to know that the organization is an “innovative technology and organization that inspires and empowers greater Cincinnati to engage in volunteering that helps our community and themselves.”
Bolton loves the culture of Cincinnati Cares. It is “a startup created by one of Greater Cincinnati’s most generous families with dedicated employees and volunteers who are committed to the mission of fixing some of our region’s most pressing community needs by making it easier and better for volunteers to get engaged,” he says.