I recently connected with Jay Kroll of TheCommon.org and we got a chance to discuss what was under the hood. Check it out!
Chris: What is the basic concept behind TheCommon.org?
Jay: TheCommon.org was created to simply help people in your community help each other. In your community, people are your greatest asset. What we find more and more is that people want to help each other, but their awareness of the needs is obscured. It could be that the opportunities are hidden on a website, buried in a bulletin, or—because of the time it takes conventionally to recruit people—the needs are only ever shared with a few “Super Volunteers” that you know you can count on. What you end up with is a disengaged community and a few overwhelmed volunteers. TheCommon.org exists to facilitate connections. By connecting people who have the ability and desire to serve with people who have needs—inside their community and through partner organizations—TheCommon.org succeeds.
Chris: How does it work?
Jay: Needs and Abilities are matched by category. If you like doing home repair, you add the ability and receive email notifications of the Home Repair needs in your community. Individuals can post needs as well—for themselves or on behalf of people they know. When you let people talk to each other, you allow connections to be made and needs to be met without the burden of community administrators having to be gatekeepers.
It’s an easy, efficient, safe, and—dare we say—fun way, for people to help and be helped.
Chris: For those who want to learn more, what do you recommend they do next?
From my little bit of experience with TheCommon.org, it truly provides pastors with a great opportunity to engage their church members to connect with each other and the community through service. I encourage all leaders who are looking for a better way to reach out to their community to give them a second look and pick Jay’s brain about how it can serve your unique needs. Your members and staff will thank you ;)