NYU Alums Make Volunteering Easy
March 20, 2017
More apps are turning to GPS technology to customize users’ experience and suggest convenient, nearby locations that offer a desired service. Uber and Lyft, for example, make on-demand transportation readily accessible, while Seamless puts food delivery at your fingertips. Seeking to extend the convenience of these localized suggestions to community service, NYU alum Deevee Kashi and Anthony Yoon created DEED. The app uses location services to suggest nearby organizations to volunteer with.
Kashi and Yoon met in 2015 and officially began their business collaboration in April 2016. Drawing from their global experiences — Kashi grew up in both New York City and Tel Aviv, and native New Yorker Yoon traveled the world before working on DEED — the two wanted to create a product that emphasized giving back to the community, wherever that community may be. The duo said DEED was born out of this effort to help people support local nonprofits through community service. To quote the slogan, DEED’s mission is, quite simply, to help people “do something good today.”
“Helping someone in need should be as easy as ordering a car or food on an app,” Kashi and Yoon said in a statement to WSN.
Despite being launched in 2016, DEED has already gained recognition as one of the best iPhone apps of 2016 , according to Vogue. Its dozens of five-star ratings on iTunes also back up the company’s claim that DEED “makes volunteering easy, social and fun.” Kashi and Yoon cite one of their guiding principles for the app as changing the way people view volunteering.
“We try to position volunteering as something you want to do because it’s cool and fun, not something you feel obligated to do,” Kashi and Yoon said in a joint statement.
To use DEED, users first browse volunteer opportunities to see what interests them. Each event spotlight includes the organization name, the type and requirements of the volunteer work, the date of service and even how many volunteer spots are still available. Once users find one that interests them, they can click the DEED to learn more about the particular organization and receive directions to the location. To register to volunteer, users simply click “I’m Ready to Volunteer” and are given all of the necessary information through the app. Volunteers can then invite their friends on social media to join them in service. Users can also personalize their DEED profile and keep track of their past and upcoming DEEDs.
Tandon junior Jack Curzon is a member of NYU Circle K, a club that regularly engages in community service. He believes DEED has the potential to pick up where such clubs leave off once students graduate.
“Organizations like Circle K make it easier for individuals to team up to create social impact in their areas of interest,” Curzon said. “Once you graduate, there is this awkward age gap in the market of volunteering between students and those who are middle-aged. An app like DEED would help bridge that gap and empower young adults and working professionals to initiate their own service work.”
Steinhardt sophomore Tracy Tin appreciates the convenience DEED offers.
“It can be difficult to find just the right type of volunteer opportunities online and in my neighborhood,” Tin said. “So, I was excited to see that there is an app to help me easily find nearby volunteer opportunities that interest me.”
DEED currently only operates in New York City, but the founders hope to expand its reach to 10 major cities across the country by the end of 2017. DEED is available for free download on the iTunes store and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 20 print edition. Email Sarah Jackson at [email protected]