When you think 'volunteering', a band of rowdy students probably isn't the first image that comes to mind – but 10 years ago, in the wake of the Christchurch Earthquakes Sam Johnson could see their enthusiasm, energy and willingness to roll their sleeves up and do the hard mahi, meant they were exactly what was needed to help bring a devastated community together.
Unless you've been living under a rock (or live outside of NZ), you will have heard of The Student Volunteer Army. What started as a way to lend a hand at a time of crisis, has turned into a movement. But scaling this operation was hard, so we built them a scalable social infrastructure platform that streamlines communication and removes administrative headaches, reducing barriers for those wanting to get involved. Teachers, universities, and polytechs have been requesting an SVA at their campus for years – now they can have it.
In order to engage as big a community as possible, the SVA platform gives organisers the ability to spin up activities quickly and allows volunteers to self-organise, creating activities of their own and with greater visibility of where they can best offer their time.
Students create a record of service, building a portfolio of recognition awards as part of their SVA journey. This journey may stretch from primary school through to university, showcasing valuable skills and experiences they can take into the workforce.
The SVA platform is positioned to become the largest database of volunteering in Aotearoa, providing insights and reporting not currently available.
The Custom D team have been a reliable and enjoyable partner to work with. We enjoy the ease with which their team works with ours and are proud of the results which has led to us winning the NZ High Tech Awards 'Impact for Good' category.
Sam Johnson - CEO, Student Volunteer Army
What we built
A cross-platform mobile app and easy-to-use web app, all integrated via a centralised database and API.
The new platform addresses the needs of different groups by dynamically enabling different features depending on who’s using the app: administrators, volunteers, teachers, or organisers
The platform has been built in way that allows for easy expansion and flexible integration with other external organisations, which will be crucial in enabling SVA’s future growth.