Business volunteering is on the rise, as a way to increase a company’s social impact while increasing employee engagement. However, managing volunteer programs can get tricky. Goodera wants to make it easier with an end-to-end platform with pre-screened volunteer opportunities and trained hosts. The Utah-based startup announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A funding led by Elevation Capital, with participation from Zoom Ventures, Xto10X, Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network. Former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and Flipkart founder Binny Bansal also contributed to the round.
Goodera currently has job openings from more than 50,000 non-profit organizations that can be done in the office, remotely or by hybrid employees, with the goal of making them accessible to more employees. Some examples of volunteer opportunities Goodera has organized include onboarding interns, wrapping holiday gifts, helping Ukrainian war refugees, and introducing robotics to children through automated bot building.
The startup was founded in 2020 by Abhishek Gumbad and now has more than 400 customers. Goodera’s volunteer programs have been used by companies such as IBM, Target, EY, Amazon and 60 Fortune 500 companies. It currently reaches a total of more than 10 million employees and aims to reach 100 million employees by 2025.
When Goodera was founded two years ago, socio-political movements like Black Lives Matter were at their peak, Gumbad said, and many employees wanted to get involved. But pandemic lockdowns made that difficult. Goodera was already working on virtual volunteering for remote teams, including a pilot program with a major cloud organization.
Now Goodera is helping both nonprofits and businesses increase volunteerism. For non-profit organizations, Goodera acts as a partner to help them find volunteers. Gumbad noted that only a very small number of nonprofits have a dedicated corporate relations program and that international nonprofits are difficult to screen.
“It’s hard to find nonprofit partners aligned with your company’s impact goals,” he said. Goodera solves that with a team focused on finding and training nonprofits to offer volunteer opportunities on its platform. It currently partners with 50,000 non-profit organizations in more than 100 countries. Gumbad said it was able to find opportunities for the war in Ukraine and the floods in Pakistan in less than three days after the news broke.
After partnering with non-profit organizations, Goodera develops programs to ensure they appeal to employee volunteers. The experienced team tests volunteer opportunities through Goodera’s Volunteer Tuesdays program and receives feedback from members of the startup team. Once volunteer opportunities are live, it will provide a trained host for everyone. Goodera now has a network of more than 1,000 hosts, who can oversee the organization and logistics of opportunities in 500 cities in more than 20 languages. Volunteer opportunities are also supported by a delivery operations team that creates more than a week’s worth of content for each event, including emails, posters, landing pages, videos, and testimonials from nonprofits.
Goodera signed its first customer in August 2020 and now has annual recurring revenue of $7.5 million. It makes money by charging per-employee usage for each placement, which typically costs between $25 and $50 depending on whether their volunteering is remote, in-person, or on-site.
On the competition front, Gumbad said there are some companies, mostly small business event organizers, that partner with nonprofits to host volunteer opportunities, but that those engagements are sporadic. He added that Goodera differentiates itself from other volunteering platforms such as WeHero and Give to Get by offering volunteer opportunities in a broader geography and full-service including management, hosting and reporting.
Goodera’s funding will be used to scale its business, with volunteer opportunities focused on diversity, equality and inclusion, environmental, social and corporate governance and workforce groups. It also plans to explore impact engagement around DEI awareness and training workshops.
In a statement, Zoom’s head of business development, M&A strategy and Zoom Ventures Sanjay Rao said, “Volunteering has become mainstream in companies of all sizes, industries and geographies. It is the most meaningful engagement, especially for Gen Z and millennials. Goodera solves a huge need that has been underserved and overlooked, especially in the remote and hybrid work environment. We are proud to be a customer and now an investor in their ambition to bring volunteering to every workplace.”