Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

People Making a Difference (PMD)

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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 24 years, PMD has engaged more than 8,500 volunteers in nearly 1,200 service projects helping 137 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: 800 people volunteer for 57 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: organized 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

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

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.

egs5491

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!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD continues to organize wonderful projects in the Boston area. Because of the wide variety of projects, everyone can find one that interests them so they can give back and have fun while doing it! Projects are always very well organized so that volunteers maximize their time to give back while also learning about the charity they are working with that day. PMD provides great opportunities for volunteers to explore their city, connect with local charities, meet other like-minded Bostonians and most importantly give back to their community.

Read more

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
2

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.

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I appreciate PMD especially for advertising a wide variety of service opportunities in the area. There are projects for every type of volunteer and a range of time commitments. It gives everyone a chance to contribute however they want.

Janice23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this group for over 15 years now. Each project is very well organized so volunteers will be fulfilled and satisfied that their work was needed, and that the project lasted just long enough to keep it enjoyable rather than overtiring. I love the opportunity to do self-contained projects for a variety of charities and events. I've painted route signs for walkathons, run activities and face-painted for family fun days, given out books at literacy fairs, staffed science competitions between HS teams, sorted seeds for free gardens, planted flowers at the zoo, and much more!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit offers extremely welk-organized projects that are designed to bring maximum satisfaction to the volunteers as well as clearly benefit the charity served. Projects are just long enough, just demanding enough, and have a clear finished product. Icebreaker a are always a part, to help volunteers get comfortable with each other, and leaders pass out fresh bajed cookies during the wrap up.

Read more

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a PMD volunteer and board member for many years, I remain a huge fan of the manifold contributions PMD makes to serving those in need in the greater Boston community. PMD volunteer service projects fill genuine needs in a host of charitable areas with heart, efficiency, and valued results. Every single PMD service project makes a meaningful difference not only to those directly and indirectly served but also to the participating PMD volunteers, whose time and dedication is always respected and appreciated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with PMD for many years and the projects are always very organized. Once you get to the project site, the plan for the day is explained and everyone is given clear instructions so a lot gets done over the course of the day. One of the things I love about volunteering with PMD is that often I get to interact with the community I am serving and learn more about them. Being able to see how the project impacts people is a priceless experience that is often missing from other community service opportunities.

1

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.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a unique charity in that you can volunteer for different causes and projects and spread around your time and efforts. Volunteering at the National Braille Press was fantastic, We were able to prepare children's books with transparent, braille inscribed page coverings so that parents of blind children (or children of blind parents) could read along. We learned about the history of the press and how, sadly, they make do with so little. PMD makes the volunteer effort easy and seamless and they provide all materials.

1

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

People making a difference is a grass roots organization providing volunteers and organizations with a positive experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years, People Making A Difference has provided motivated, energetic volunteers for our volunteer work days at Spy Pond Park. They willingly do whatever is needed including enhancing the view of visitors by trimming hedges bordering the pond, cutting back invasive plants that crowd out flowers and bushes in our planting beds and planting new ferns, bushes and plants. In addition to this important work, we always welcome their enthusiasm, camaraderie and work ethic along with the expertise and careful organization of their leader, Lori Tsuruda. Lally Stowell, Volunteer Coordinator, Friends of Spy Pond Park

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

People Making a Difference seems like a simple kind of nonprofit--small good-works for many many community projects, but they are cumulative, and this nonprofit has earned its stars for many years, run by the incredibly smart, incredibly dedicated and professional Lori Tsuruda. The work PMD does really does make a great difference. And without that work, the agencies it helps would survive, but not anywhere near as well. This nonprofit deserves more than 5 starts. Bravo to PMD.

1 Vicki X.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD's projects are always well-planned and well-executed. It fills a vital role in connecting volunteers with organizations who might not have the resources to run volunteer recruitment . Great for people looking to explore the city more while giving back to their community.

1 Bill120

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with PMD is always a positive experience. Well organized, we are always presented the bigger picture of what we are contributing to, and the difference we are actually making. The events range a wide variation of opportunities from helping to bind braille children's picture books to sorting seeds for community gardens to preparing and packaging food to delivered to people homebound by illness to constructing chemistry and DNA kits from Legos to be used in classrooms. Always interesting, fun and rewarding - I always check the calendar for future events.

I've received the President's Volunteer Service Award several years running - PMD was key in getting me volunteering as a life choice. And I'm thankful.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

PMD is a local, grass roots non-profit that works in and around greater Boston, MA. This organization is perfect for individuals or groups seeking to lend a helping hand on one-time volunteer projects. Service projects range from traditional volunteering at a shelter or park, to helping run the annual Blue Lobster Bowl (as part of the MIT Sea Grant program)!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Andy and I am a Board Member and frequent volunteer with People Making a Difference (PMD). I've been affiliated with PMD for the past two years and can whole-heartedly say that there is no other, grass-roots, local, volunteering/service organizations quite like PMD. PMD's primary mission is to connect people who want to help local charities that need volunteer assistance but lack the resources to do so effectively. I've personally witness the hard work and dedication of our Executive Director and volunteers time and time again- from assembling braille books for blind children at Boston's National Braille Press, to making no-sew fleece blankets on Summer Street for Boston's homeless. The work that PMD's volunteers selflessly perform is vital to the Greater Boston community. It’s clear to me that PMD's ultimate power lies in leveraging everyday people (like myself) to perform extraordinary differences in our community- hands down one of Boston Best local non-profits. Andy

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for PMD I know that they have vetted the non profit I'll help so I can get in there and really make a contribution and not waste my time. Host agencies are prepared for the number of people coming, provide a substantial project to work on with plenty of tools and leaders that stay with you and tell you how what you'll do with them matters to their agency and who some of the people are that will benefit. It's about task and relationship. They also provide opportunities to get to know the other volunteers while the project runs which is great if you're new to the area or you want to expand your network. I like that the projects are one time events at different agencies so there's lots of variety in tasks, locations, times and dates. They also use evaluation sheets at the end of each project to get immediate feedback on the volunteer's experience. I can't ask for more!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Terrific organization - adds real value to both volunteers and to the organizations it help. Adds may hours of valuable work and does it on a shoestring. A "best-in-class" operation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD has done a number of projects which support STEM activities for youth. By far, my favorite is the assembly of special LEGO kits used as manipulatives to teach public school students about DNA and related concepts.

1 John357

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you're a non-profit who needs people to complete a key project, look to PMD. They'll gather volunteers, arrange for supplies, and organize everything.