National Sites

It is important to understand the status and limitations of national sites in order to understand why over 300 communities recognized and responded to the need to launch sites dedicated to their community or state.  Despite the attraction of economies of scale and eliminating duplicated efforts, national sites have been ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable in meeting the needs of most communities.  They are broad in geography but sparsely populated with opportunities which do not serve potential volunteers or communities well.  Many organizations tried to use them but abandoned them (i.e. less than 7% of the 140,000 organizations who joined VolunteerMatch are still posting opportunities).  The degree to which this is an inherit limitation or an issue of execution is a matter of debate but regardless of which it is, after nearly 25 years and dozens of attempts the data shows they continue to provide limited value and are not positioned to address the enormous loss of 17 million volunteers recently reported.

Volunteer Match

Checking recently Volunteer Match shows over 140,000 organizations and 78,166 opportunities. Looking more closely over 92% of those organizations are no longer posting opportunities and less than 5% continue posting within 2.5 years of starting.  Well over 1/3 of the opportunities (29,495 of 78,166) are from just 10 organizations.  8 of those 10 organizations are just posting the same opportunity in a large number of locations:

10 Organizations 29,495 Opportunities
AnB Education 9,138
Idealist 8,023
JustServe 2,265
The Borgen Project 1,682
LaSagna Love 1,144
VITAS Healthcare 1,104
M4A Foundation – CrowdDoing 911
The ENGin Program 852
Give an Hour 644


Checking at the same time, Idealist shows 92,232 volunteer opportunities where 7,001 are from their own site and 78,743 are from VolunteerMatch (which appears to double count the 7,001 they share with VolunteerMatch) and 802 are from Points of Light and 4,227 are from AARP.
AARP Create the Good

Points of Light Engage