Volunteer via an app and get rewarded
Volunteer app allows users to get points to redeem gifts like food and retail vouchers
Volunteering is an intrinsically rewarding activity, and there are apps such as SGcares that already make helping others easier.
But there is a new app - Zeles App - that aims to incentivise more volunteers to come forward.
Ms Chen Yew Nah, 57, the managing director of Zeles Network, is behind the app, which creates a volunteering ecosystem that connects individuals, corporations and causes.
She told The New Paper that she always had a passion to help others and realised there was a gap in the feedback system after speaking to several volunteers.
So she decided to bridge this gap as well as incentivise more volunteers to come forward.
Ms Chen, who previously worked in data analysis and information technology, gathered feedback from voluntary host organisations (VHOs) and volunteers over the past two years to develop the app.
In March, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said she hoped to tap on technology to promote volunteerism, and provide a one-stop avenue for Singaporeans to find volunteering opportunities.
So the launch of the app last Wednesday is timely, said Ms Chen, explaining that the app allows organisations to communicate with its volunteers without having to depend on external messaging applications. There is an in-app chat function that allows volunteers to give feedback to the organisations they are working at.
On the app, users access their dashboard for new activities. The app's calendar lists past and future events as well as real-time statistics of their volunteering journey.
Volunteering for events allows users to earn points to redeem gifts from sponsors, for instance free pastries from Delifrance and free cable car rides from the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).
So far, the app has brought 2,000 volunteers, 55 VHOs and 14 sponsors on board.
VHOs include the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Association for Persons With Special Needs and Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home.
Delifrance assistant marketing manager Loke Zing Zing told TNP: "We are working with Zeles App to identify an avenue where we can volunteer as a company for a cause this year."
SDC's divisional director of corporate planning division Chan Mun Wei said: "The Zeles App is a meaningful way to show SDC's support for volunteerism and to recognise the many caring individuals who help others."
Praising the incentive system, Miss Alicia Chan, 27, programme lead at the Association for Early Childhood Educators, said: "One of our volunteers was pleasantly surprised when she redeemed four complimentary tickets to take her family to the Bird Park."
Ms Angie Chew, executive director of Brahm Centre, a charity that promotes healthier living, said the app has made volunteer management more efficient.
She said: "We have used it to recruit and manage volunteers for 85 events. It provides us with real-time visibility on the number of volunteers coming forward."