Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and Sunlight board member, has written a thoughtful piece on service and volunteerism for The Huffington Post. The catalyst for Craig’s piece is the reference by the Barack Obama platform, outlined at Change.gov, to their volunteerism plans as “a craigslist for service.” Craig uses this opportunity to outline possible aspects of “a craigslist for service” from his point of view, such as offering to help an established charity, or use sites like VolunteerMatch.org, DonorsChoose.org and Kiva.org to find ways to donate your time and money in useful and thoughtful ways, along with other ideas.
He advises the Obama administration to remain serious about national service. He suggests that they set up an national online tool to place those willing to serve where they might do the most good, and commit to a private/public partnership where citizens would pledge publicly to some form of service. And for the general public, Craig encourages Americans to commit to serve, and then register that commitment online at the volunteer site. He also suggests all of us to get educated on at least one major issue and get involved. And finally, he says we should encourage our friends, family members and co-workers to get involved in some form of volunteer work.
Craig writes, “I feel that we’re entering a new time of civic engagement, where people can help others out in small or big ways. Let’s get going.”