Corporate volunteering is on the rise to increase company social impact and employee engagement. Managing volunteer programs, however, can be difficult. Goodra wants to make it easy with an end-to-end platform that includes pre-screened volunteer opportunities and trained hosts. The Utah-based startup today announced a $10 million Series A round 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 contributed to the round.
Goodra currently has volunteer slots for more than 50,000 nonprofits that can be done by in-office, remote, or hybrid employees, with the goal of making it accessible to more employees. Some examples of volunteer opportunities Goodra has hosted include boarding interns, holiday gift wrapping, helping refugees from the Ukrainian war, and introducing robotics to kids by building an automated bot.
The startup was founded in 2020 by Abhishek Gumbad and now has over 400 customers. Goodera’s volunteer programs have been used by companies such as IBM, Target, EY, Amazon and 60 Fortune 500 companies. Currently, it reaches a total of more than 10 million workers, and wants to hit 100 million workers 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 the pandemic lockdowns have made that difficult. Goodra has been working on virtual volunteering for remote teams, including a pilot program with a large cloud firm.
Now Goodera helps both nonprofits and corporations increase volunteering. For non-profits, Goodra acts as a partner to help them find volunteers. Gumbad noted that only nonprofits have a dedicated corporate relations program and international nonprofits are difficult to screen.
“It’s hard to find nonprofit partners that are aligned with your organizational impact goals,” he said. Goodra solves that by focusing on finding and training nonprofits to offer volunteer opportunities on the platform. It currently works with 50,000 nonprofit organizations in more than 100 countries. Less than three days after the news, Gumbad said he was able to find opportunities for the war in Ukraine and the flood in Pakistan.
After partnering with non-profit organizations, Goodra organizes programs, ensuring employee volunteers are participating. Pilots of the experience group will receive feedback from members of the novice group and volunteer opportunities through Gudera’s Volunteer Tuesday program. Once volunteer opportunities are live, a trained host will be assigned to each. Goodra now has a network of over 1,000 hosts; They can manage the organization of opportunities and logistics in 500 cities in more than 20 languages. Volunteer opportunities are supported by a delivery operations team that creates over a week’s worth of content for each event, including emails, posters, landing pages, videos and nonprofit testimonials.
Goodra signed its first client in August 2020 and now has $7.5 million in annual recurring revenue. For each placement, each employee earns a usage fee, which usually pays between $25 and $50 if the volunteer opportunity is remote, in-person or on-site.
Regarding the competition, Gumbad said there are some companies, mostly small corporate event organizers, that partner with charities to host volunteering opportunities, but those engagements are rare. Godera added that what sets it apart from other volunteering platforms like WeHero and Give to Get is its wide geographic scope of volunteering opportunities and full service offering, including hosting and reporting.
Gudera’s funding will be used to expand its work, with volunteer opportunities for diversity, equality and inclusion, environmental protection, social and corporate governance and employee resource groups. Plans to explore impact engagement around DEI awareness and training workshops.
In a statement, Zoom’s Head of Corporate Development, M&A Strategy and Zoom Ventures, Sanjay Rao said, “Volunteering has become a core practice at companies of all sizes, sectors and geographies. It’s a very valuable engagement, especially for Gen Z and millennials. Goodra addresses a wide range of unmet and unaddressed needs, especially in remote and hybrid work environments. We are proud to be a customer and now an investor in bringing volunteerism to every workplace.