Celebrating Our Volunteers During National Volunteer Week & Global Volunteer Month

April 23, 2021

By Shanna Lee, Director, Global Volunteers, DataKind

Time is a moment that occurs only once. People share their time in different ways with family, friends, community, or on their own. How we spend our time and who we share it with has become more important as we adjust in response to the pandemic, social unrest, and other global events.

At DataKind, we’re so grateful to have volunteers that choose to spend their time with us. Whether you’ve shared one hour, a day, a weekend, or years with us, we’re humbled, and we can’t thank you enough!

In recognition of National Volunteer Week (April 18-24) and Global Volunteer Month (April), we want to thank all of our volunteers past and present. You all are the heart of DataKind and why we’re able to make a difference in our mission of harnessing the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity!

Over the past year, we’ve been inspired to see growing participation across civic engagement, volunteerism, or simply just wanting to help. Volunteers and community members alike are using their strengths, voices, actions, and time to respond to society’s greatest challenges. They’re showing how communities rooted in strength, collaboration, and trust are working to make the world a better place. This was recently seen at our virtual DataDive® weekend in March, appropriately themed Trust, Transparency, Togetherness: Powering Public Data for Communities

Volunteers were able to participate for an hour, a day, or weekend, depending on their availability. Over 300 community members from a variety of expertise and perspectives joined throughout the event. They worked alongside social sector partners on collecting and analyzing open data to empower local leaders with new ways to build insights and capacity to better serve their communities. Those project partners included: Care, Community Lattice, CONVINCE coalition, Dimagi, Medic, New America, Oxfam, and Save the Children. Those insights and learnings were then summarized and shared during our Report Back.

Here are some of what our amazing volunteers had to say about the DataDive event:  

  • “An amazing opportunity to learn and connect to others around the globe!”
  • “I cannot recommend this experience enough. It is an outstanding opportunity for ALL skill levels in ALL data specialties to do some impactful work for social good! How often do you get to jump on board with a diverse, welcoming, global team of experts using data science to make the world a better place? I am looking forward to the next one.”
  • “I actively volunteer for many nonprofits, but a lot of the time we get stuck and are unsure what is possible. DataDive provides a great way for nonprofits to understand what is possible and move forward with powerful projects. Happy I was able to help out!”
  • “It was an honor to work with so many volunteers and data scientists who are also passionate about using their skills to make a positive impact!”

We're grateful for our volunteers who give so much, and appreciate how they've trusted us to create a space where they can apply their skills in the service of humanity. 

We’ve also been inspired by the overwhelming interest that continues from people wanting to help at DataKind. It has challenged us to think about how we can do better to offer additional, inclusive, and flexible volunteer opportunities. Current and prospective volunteers have shared ideas on how we can meet this need. If you have ideas to share and discuss, let us know!  

We look forward to sharing more events and opportunities in the upcoming months. Stay tuned and follow us on social media (Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook).

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Shanna Lee is focused on creating an environment in which volunteers can contribute in meaningful ways to our partners, feel valued for their unique abilities, and reflect the diverse communities they represent. She brings 12 years of volunteer engagement, community engagement, strategy, public health, and partnership experience to DataKind.

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