This project aims at designing a platform service for volunteer engagement. Volunteer engagement aims at the co-creation of value for social organizations and volunteers. Volunteer engagement includes identifying the two parties, checking compatibility, recruiting, onboarding and orientation, training, actual volunteer work, and retirement and post-retirement journeys of a volunteer. Existing platforms provide only partial volunteer engagement by matching the preferences and requirements of organization and volunteers. However, the platform created in this project looks at the entire holistic journey of a volunteer. This is required as volunteers come with various motivations, time and effort constraints, skills, and knowledge bases. Also, there is variability in expectations from a volunteer on organizations' side in terms of skill and time required. Volunteers and organizations work together to create a difference for the community. Therefore, a platform like the one proposed in this project is relevant and beneficial for a holistic volunteering experience.
Thus, with value co-creation at its core, a service design approach was taken to explore challenges and opportunities in the field through a study of carefully curated papers on volunteer management, volunteerism, and practices followed by social organizations in volunteer engagement. Eighteen different online platforms were studied and analysed to understand existing practices. The analysis of this study is reported. A survey's findings to understand the volunteer motivations, constraints, and interviews conducted with representatives of social organizations are also reported. Key findings include the process of selecting volunteers, methods of communication, training, and support provided by the organizations. These findings helped form the design strategies and directions for volunteer engagement. An ideal lifetime trajectory of a volunteer is mapped and then detailed into a journey map. It is further detailed into service encounter blueprints. The platform's working is further conceptualized for different personas with multiple scenarios and branching in its working. The report includes a detailed touchpoint design for the platform. Possible service failure encounters are also identified and addressed in the report. The project is evaluated by having experts review it. The feedback received throughout the project, and in the expert, evaluation has been incorporated in the design and the report. Finally, the report concludes with the contributions and limitations of the project and directions for further research.
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