CodeKindness is designed to help technologically skilled volunteers support nonprofits by working on projects of a variety of flavors including social networking, web design and development, hardware, and databases.
Nonprofits can create an account and post a request, which is then approved by CK. Word then goes out by RSS, email, and social networks, as well as on the website itself, about the opportunity, and volunteers can sign up to show interest in the project.
Once the nonprofit’s project manager picks a volunteer, CK helps them keep track of progress and encourages the project manager to check in with their volunteer once a week until the project is completed. After completion, the project manager is encouraged to thank the volunteer by sending them a CodeKindess t-shirt, whose purchase supports CK.
The nonprofit then rates the volunteer and statistics are shown on the site. Currently there is a relatively small amount of activity, with 2 projects completed and 4 more in progress. There are 20 open projects and 24 technology volunteers, so the balance seems to be working out well so far.
I like CK’s approach to social entrepreneurship and I encourage you to head over there and browse the projects if you are technically inclined, or register if your nonprofit needs technical assistance. Time will tell whether this model will be successful, but I applaud the effort and I imagine that both the developers and the nonprofits that get involved will realize substantial returns.