Do-it Trust, the charity behind Do-it.org the UK’s leading digital volunteering service, has joined forces with Vivo Technology, the skills and character-building platform, in the creation of a new social tech enterprise that will enable both Do-it.org and Vivo to increase their reach and impact and secure a long term future for the national volunteering database.
The new social enterprise called Vivo Life will bring together all the digital services currently managed by both organisations. The new enterprise will be registered as a B Corps which are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Vivo also aims to extend the partnership with Do-it Trust by endowing the charity as its corporate foundation, with the object of further supporting the voluntary and community sector.
Speaking about the new enterprise, Pat Samuel CBE, Chair of the Do-it Trust said,
“I’m really excited by the potential of the new joint social enterprise we are embarking on in partnership with Vivo as it will take Do-it.org to the next level in terms of the service provided and the impact we can generate through supporting people to volunteer. It secures the long term future of the platform and will give access to new technology that will result in a better service for volunteers, recruiters and other social enterprises.
I’m also pleased to say that Jamie Ward-Smith, our former CEO, has agreed join the Board of Trustees of Do-it Trust so he can continue his excellent work in this next phase of development as Do-it Trust’s representative on the Board of Vivo Life as their new non-executive Chair.”
George Grima, CEO of Vivo, also welcomed the agreement of the new partnership:
“We are incredibly ambitious about the positive impact we can make as an organisation and have been looking for the right partners that share our vision to create a step change in the way that people do good in the UK. I’m incredibly proud that Do-it Trust has chosen to partner with us so we can work together and, with Vivo’s digital tools and reach, ensure that Do-it.org become the most successful volunteering platform in the world.
We have hit the ground running with the new company and are already planning some exciting new enhancements and developments that will hugely benefit the Do-it.org Service and its stakeholders, which we’re looking forward to announcing in the coming months.”
Jamie Ward-Smith, a Trustee of Do-it and non-executive Chair of Vivo Life, said:
“Vivo are a really good fit for our ambition for Do-it.org. Their passion for helping individuals to realize their true potential is in no small part driven by the recognition and commitment to enabling more people to volunteer so that they benefit communities as well as themselves. They also believe that technology is a key tool to enabling and inspiring volunteering and social action and have got the expertise, reach and innovation to help us create a step change in the impact Do-it.org can have. I’m really looking forward to working with them.”
There is no change to the existing service on Do-it.org, with all the current services and functionality continuing under the new management. The new social enterprise is already planning the upgrade of Do-it.org to an enhanced platform which will be powered by Vivo’s very successful architecture, which itself has recently completed a significant development phase, with additional features that will improve the service overall. As currently, the Do-it service will remain free to use for volunteers and recruiters. Vivo will also make Do-it.org volunteering opportunities available to its existing 1m student users via its new platform that is being rolled out to over 350 secondary schools.
Notes to editors
About Do-it Trust
Do-it Trust is a registered charity that was set up to promote social change through the use of new and emerging technologies. In 2011 it launched the ivo social networking platform, a pilot that came out of a government backed R&D and social investment project. The platform quickly established itself as a leading source of information, support and recruitment services for the volunteering and social action sector. In 2013, with support from Prospectus and Vivo, the Trust took over Do-it.org from the charity YouthNet, relaunching the platform a year later with a new brand, design and infrastructure.
Since acquiring Do-it.org, the Trust has grown its recruiter base to over 60,000 volunteer centres, charities, social enterprises, local authorities and voluntary groups and registered 200,000 new volunteers within its first 18 months. The new Do-it.org site won two industry awards, including a Webby (known as the ‘Oscars’ of the internet) and a Luvvie.
It is the plan of the Do-it Trust trustees that the Do-it Trust will evolve over time into a charitable foundation, with activities likely to include becoming a grant maker to support initiatives to encourage social change and development through the use of technology. The charity will also retain ownership of the volunteer centre’s V-Base Cloud CRM tool. The Do-it Trust staff have already transferred to join the Vivo team that is led by its CEO, George Grima. Do-it Trust’s former CEO, Jamie Ward-Smith, has joined the Do-it Trust Board of Trustees, and will serve as their representative on the Board of VivoLife as non-executive Chair, to enable the Trustees to collectively oversee Do-it’s participation in the new enterprise.
Vivo is a LifeTech company that provides digital solutions to enable people to improve their lives and the lives around them. Whether that is through education, volunteering or personal improvement, we strive to make a better life for our users, through our ever-evolving technology.
Established in 2008, Vivo’s philosophy – to learn more, do more, be more – is relevant to everyone, whatever their situation or stage in life. We have helped people to excel in school, at work and at home. Our new multi-purpose platform will give everyone the tools to continue to do so, for their own benefit, and for the benefit of society.
Our partnership with Do-it Trust is born from Vivo’s initiative to give back to the community. We know that with their knowledge and experience in the volunteering sector, and with our technology, we can promote the culture of volunteering and provide a leading digital service for charities, volunteers and the community.