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Volly app to connect Calgarians to volunteer opportunities in 2023

A new mobile application to make finding volunteer opportunities easier, and to increase civic engagement by citizens in Calgary, is being launched in 2023.

Volly’s mobile app is building off the Volly website which launched in 2019, by one of the city’s top ambassadors for volunteering, Alice Lam.

The goal is to connect volunteer minded Calgarians with groups holding community events, or regular volunteer opportunities.

“We hear a lot from Calgarians that say, ‘oh, where can I go?’ There’s no one place to find kind of these community events, and so that’s kind of the gap that we’re trying to fill,” Lam said.

“Being able to fill that gap with our application, is going to make it so much easier for Calgarians who are attracted to these types of opportunities, like our Christmas festival, or Halloween event, or our night markets, and also ways to meet other mutual aid or affinity groups in Calgary.”

The first version of the app was presented this month to CivicTechYYC, and will be turning over their beta to testers from inclusive testing startup Inclucity to refine the interface.

Extra incentives to volunteer

Just one of the many ideas that she has to engage Calgarians is to provide extra incentives, like reward points. Other aspects involve making it easier to build communities around civic engagement and volunteering.

“We’re going to have a series of financial literacy and civic literacy learning modules. We’re going to have a messaging aspect to it, and there’s going to be lots of incentives for you to volunteer like rewards points,” Lam said.

“Ultimately, it’s a community where we’re going to share events, we’re going to share cool things that are happening, just looking for ways for people to find their community in Calgary.”

The app, she said, would hopefully be launched for the fifth anniversary of her joining CivicTechYYC in 2018.

“They were huge supporters and without them Volly wouldn’t exist today,” Lam said.

“I think it’s just a really good example of if you have an idea in Calgary to make the city better, there’s always people who will come together, and volunteer their time and resources in order to make it happen.”