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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

People Making a Difference (PMD)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: People Making a Difference® (PMD) seeks to create a world in which people and businesses are socially aware and engaged in their communities such that they approach volunteerism by learning about problems and needs, becoming familiar with local charities that are working to address them, volunteering, and providing other needed resources to make a difference. Our vision is for everyone to be able to volunteer productively a few days a year so that together we make a real difference throughout the year while learning important things along the way.

Results: During the past 26 years, PMD has engaged more than 9,300 volunteers in nearly 1,300 service projects helping 142 community-based charities. In 2012, we moved our physical office and tools to a permanent location in Randolph, but we still serve Greater Boston.

Target demographics: motivated people volunteer to help the neediest, community-based charities in organized groups

Direct beneficiaries per year: 750 people volunteer for 52+ PMD-organized service projects assisting 24+ community-based charities and thousands of their clients in 16+ communities in Greater Boston.

Geographic areas served: Greater Boston

Programs: organizing one-time, hands-on volunteer projects for individuals, partnerships with businesses to promote effective community involvement, and training and assistance to nonprofit leaders seeking quality volunteer management.

Community Stories

85 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD provides a wonderful outlet for those who want to volunteer but can't commit to doing so on a regular schedule, and/or who have not selected (or do not want to narrow themselves to) a single specific cause. And it provides a wonderful resource for organizations which need a burst of reliable manpower for a specific task. It can also be a great way to learn about organizations operating in the area, and the causes they support. if you *are* shopping around for a longer-term volunteering gig.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

People Making a Difference have been a consistent support to maintaining an important community natural area in Boston - the Iroquois Woods. Their help has been just immense for over 15 years!!

1 Jeremy F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Incredible, flexible nonprofit that still knows when to crack down to get things done. I've never been to a service organization that does work so varied and so important, no matter how mainstream or niche the cause. I've gotten involved in a few quirky projects here that I would never have been able to do otherwise and felt I've done real good in the process. Wonderful group!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working on PMD projects b/c they are always only a 1 day commitment. All material about project timing, directions, parking, etc. are detailed and includes maps. The instructions for volunteering are always clear, you learn about the organization you are helping that day and you get choc. chip cookies at the end. Bonus!

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with PMD for 15 years. I love that projects are only for 1 day so you get a sense of satisfaction in seeing your work completed. The projects are well organized with safety as a top concern. You get background info. on the organization you are helping so you can understand why you are there and who benefit from your service. There are evaluations at the end of each project to gather feedback for future projects.

Some projects all children (10+) to volunteer and I have brought my son to several projects with me. He gets to see the importance of volunteering and have a sense of accomplishment.

1 egs5491

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD continues to be the best Boston-area organization for all volunteers! Signup is quick and easy, just fill out an online form and you're all set. All opportunities are commitments of only a few hours, no need to dedicate a certain time each week. Projects are very well organized with a dedicated leader to distribute tasks, keep the group on schedule and collect feedback to improve in the future.

Previous Stories
3

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD organizes volunteer events for everyone! People with limited time to give, college kids, families, and people who want to get more involved or want to volunteer often. PMD is a perfect way to give back and feel great, but you also meet tons of other like-minded people who love giving back!

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

People who volunteer with People Making a Difference (PMD) are super motivated and reliable. They arrive ready to help where they're needed most, and come with tools and manager(s). PMD volunteers make an effort to get to know charities and the issues our clients face. PMD volunteers also contribute financially to help purchase materials when needed (and when they can afford to do so), which makes all the difference.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the most organized, productive and pro-active organizations around. The Do Truly Make a Difference.

2 Margaret F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great way to participate in a one time event, meet people and make a difference

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with PMD really feels like a good use of both my time and that of the organization served. They bring human labor to where organizations need it, avoiding situations where I feel like organizations are left to scramble to accommodate larger well-meaning but not the most strategically present groups.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD, run by Lori, does INCREDIBLE work for the world and the people of Boston. Through this group I have done two amazing volunteering events, one at MIT building science kits, and the other at Community Servings prepping desserts for the clients they feed. Both events not only introduced me to an amazing new organization in Boston, but they taught me something interesting that I hadn't known previously, and allowed me to meet amazing new people. The volunteering opportunities are incredibly well organized, and lots of opportunities are provided to get involved. Definitely recommend volunteering with PMD -- just join the listserve and wait for an amazing opportunity to pop up!

3 connietk

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great nonprofit helps the community with volunteers.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization and fun projects. You feel very fulfilled to have volunteered. You also meet other volunteers.

1 Julie76

Client Served

Rating: 5

Many years ago, before I got married and had children and was an eager twenty-something working in the Back Bay, I re-discovered my love of volunteering and found People Making A Difference. No pressure, no monthly commitment, just an incredible army of like-minded people who wanted to make a difference in their communities and enjoy thoughtful, well-organized, impactful volunteerism. A few years later, I found myself on the board of a large event on the Boston Common and engaged PMD to make our event even more hospitable, engaging and well-run... and they brought so much to the party, they were invited back year after year as a reliable resource for this nonprofit public health event. Nearly 25 years later, I'm proud to be back in the fold as the organization celebrates a milestone anniversary, and am just as impressed with PMD as I was so many years ago. Few nonprofits stay as focused and true to their mission as People Making A Difference - an unsung hero in Massachusetts, for sure. Happy anniversary PMD!

2 Kristina H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've enjoyed every single project that I've participated in with PMD! It's a great way to make an impact on my local community and to get to know other civic-minded people in the area.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

People Making a Difference has been a great resource for me over the years to stay informed and involved in my community.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD gets volunteers into the small projects that need help but are unable to attract attention. Projects only take a portion of a day and fill a broad spectrum of needs (elder community engagement, STEM education assistance, greenspace conservancy, etc.). PMD allows your volunteerism to fit your schedule.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD allows me to donate my time to a lot of different causes that I care about. They are organized and equipped so that my time is spent productively and I'm helping the people I came to help.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure volunteering with PMD both this year and last year. They are tremendously well organized and credit to the community.

Thank you for making my community better!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They make it really easy to do some good ... just sign up and show up.
All information, equipment, etc is provided. The volunteer events are well-organized and fun.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fun, well-organized projects that seem to provide real value to the non-profit.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD is a wonderful organization that allows you to volunteer when you want for the projects that interest you and that fit your schedule. There is no weekly/monthly commitment that other organizations require. It lets you select the projects that suit your schedule. There are familiar faces and new faces both. It is well organized and committed to helping people. Highly recommended!!

2 Gisela R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great non-profit with hands-on projects and a fun, interactive community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD always have meaningful projects that really help organizations. As a volunteer I never felt my time was being wasted because the projects are so well organized and the purpose of the project and why we are there is really well explained. A PMD project is always a great experience.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD makes sure that every volunteer not only has a great time doing something worthwhile, but also really learns about the organization or event they are helping. PMD projects are a wonderful way to get involved helping others and become aware of different organizations and opportunities in the community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD is an amazing opportunity for people of all backgrounds to find interesting and impactful opportunities to volunteer! There's a wide variety for people to try out and additionally, it's great that there are different ones you can try every weekend - so that you can commit to a few when it works in your schedule. Often times volunteering requires a long commitment and can be prohibitive to busy families or individuals, but this allows you to volunteer as often as you want without being worries of not being allowed to volunteer again!