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mapocathy69 karma

Great question! Short answer: it’s a balancing act. Most of our volunteers have paying jobs and family commitments that come first. So we try very hard to find projects/work assignments that coincide with a volunteer’s passion and which respects how much time a volunteer can commit to.

To avoid burnout, we welcome honest communication and boundary setting. We also ensure people are working on the highest value work. We value delivery over activities.

  • Marie Kalliney, Innovation Co-Director

mapocathy39 karma

Great questions, u/BaniGrisson.

What projects to pursue: Members of the Helpful Community come to us with ideas to solve a certain problem.  Once a project has been received, Helpful reviews it internally for a number of different factors including project viability, the need it is addressing, and the potential impact of the project.  If the project meets the criteria, Helpful will make it a sponsored project, at which point we can provide it with resources such as prototype funding, volunteers, QA/RA assistance, and project management to help it come to fruition.

Funding: We receive funding from grants as well as individual donations.  We are constantly looking for more sources of funding to be able to continue to grow the number of projects we are supporting and problems to solve.  Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

Joining Helpful: We are always open to new volunteers - you can sign up here.

Media and Social Networks: We've been featured on a few media platforms (such as Scientific America, the Guardian, Fast Company, etc), but we would like to see more coverage. As we use all available funds to support the projects, our communications department works without a real budget. Therefore, we have focused on spreading the word about our mission and efforts through our own social media accounts and websites, and by building relationships with our stakeholders and using their communication channels.

We hope that with more projects coming to completion the media interest for Helpful will increase organically.

How do you contact people at a local level to let them know about your designs?

  1. We use social media and word of mouth.
  2. We are in the early stages of launching a project: Reach4Help, to enable communities to discover and solve local problems (and leverage boots-on-the-ground human intelligence).
  • Seth Manoff, Chief Financial Officer at Helpful

mapocathy10 karma

An excellent question. Mathematically, what you are really asking is if one STEM engineer can fight one tiny Danny DiVitos. I will have to bring this question to our headquarters to hash it out.

mapocathy8 karma

Thanks for the question. You’re probably already doing the right things. Drink tap water, source your food locally, ride your bike and take public transportation, recycle everything you possibly can, bring your own bags everywhere you go, and reduce kitchen waste by eating/saving/storing all food. Eat what you buy. Don’t run your AC if you can avoid it.

To answer the part of your question about raising awareness at higher or more systemic levels, the simple answer is yes we hope to do this sort of thing. In the context of COVID we have already hosted a number of conferences to bring together thought leaders and primary actors to deal with particular issues. In the context of climate change we look forward to facilitating these sort of events. Focusing an event on things that link plastics in the food industry makes a lot of sense.

Great suggestion about how grocers unnecessarily wrap their produce! It’s terribly wasteful. We love your chutzpah :)

Marie Kalliney

Innovation Co-Director

mapocathy6 karma