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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

People Making a Difference (PMD)

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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 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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered with this energetic bunch over in East Boston. The job was very rewarding because I was able to see the difference my work made. It was additionally rewarding because the park ranger gave us an education in a variety of plants and wildlife which was indigenous to the area. The group appears to do a variety of settings some indoors and some outdoors like the East Boston experience. I would recommend this group to my friends and family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I really appreciate the volunteer service provided by People Making a Difference at Fresh Pond Reservation in Cambridge. PMD does its homework with me to make sure that I have a substantial project that will engage the skills and abilities of its volunteers, help them to understand how the work is meaningful to the reservation and introduce first timer volunteers with the resources the reservation has to offer them on subsequent visits. PMD preps volunteers with information about the project and the place they will be working as well as a list of expectations. Volunteers show up on time and ready to work. This groups stays with me for 3-5 hours so we get to know each other as we work together and I can get quite a bit done for my time investment working. They are the best group I work with!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was ver well organized and the experience is unforgettable.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Over the years, we have looked for opportunities to contribute that fit into our already busy schedules. PMD makes that easy! We were pleased to discover multiple options for participation. We've volunteered only once so far, but intend to return. The project was very well organized and those who participated were terrific. Seems there are quite a variety of ways to make a difference for very interesting organizations!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

People Making a Difference has been a great resource to meet my need for contributing without having to make an ongoing commitment. The projects are always very well organized, and I've learned about some really interesting organizations and issues affecting my community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD offers great experiences and the satisfaction of making a difference.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD does a great job providing high-impact volunteer opportunities!

2 avedalee

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Lori Tsuruda and PMD made all the difference in our corporate community involvement event. It can be a challenge identifying a project that a big group can work on but through Lori's leadership we were able to identify an activity that over 100 EMCers across the US and Canada participated in. Youth literacy was a theme we could all agree on and the team had a blast working on the literacy folder creation for Gifts to Give together. Lori and her team were collaborative from start to finish. Prior to the project she worked closely to provide guidance and recommendations on logistics and she was there when it was time for the big event day. A few months have now passed since our give back event and the team is still talking about the experience. Looking forward to working with PMD & Lori in the future!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for PMD since 2007. PMD is one of the few non-profits that understands how to work with volunteers effectively. Their organizing skills and attention to detail make every project a success for the organizations they help and a satisfying experience for the volunteers who do the work.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love both the flexibility and the structure I have when volunteering with PMD. I get to pick the nonprofit I will help and the date I wish to volunteer. PMD provides me with the tools, directions, and information to learn about the group I am helping while performing a needed task. I always meet great people and have fun on PMD projects.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I volunteer with PMD, I am always surprised how quickly the volunteers become a team. Although we don't know each other when the project begins, we soon learn, laugh and work effectively together. There is always the right equipment and a plan to provide meaningful help to a local non-profit. i feel good about the work I am doing and am very comfortable with my fellow volunteers.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with 6 or 7 projects through PMD and it's always a ton of fun. They are very well run and extremely organized. No standing around and waiting to figure out what to do- everyone has something to do from beginning to end. I love the concept of "responsible volunteerism" and one-off volunteer projects because it's honestly difficult for many working families to commit to a long-term volunteer program without running the risk of letting someone down or feeling overwhelmed. Being able to pick a project and complete it within one day allows me to feel useful and important without worrying that I'm going to bite off more than I can chew and let an organization down. Great job, PMD!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've volunteered on two projects through PMD in 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed them both...Lori does an excellent job of planning the events and providing volunteers with all of the information that they need beforehand, both about the event itself and also about the organization you will be supporting with your efforts. This second part, learning about the organization a bit more, for me, helps make my volunteer experience more rewarding, knowing how my actions are contributing to the broader mission of the organization I'll be helping during my volunteering.

PMD events have often been at convenient times for me, compared to other opportunities I've found via other sources (e.g., VolunteerMatch, Boston Cares, etc.), so I've enjoyed not having to 'hunt' for opportunities to participate.

Keep up the great work Lori...looking forward to helping out again soon!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD is a terrifically well run organization. They allow people to make an impact in just one day, and then make as much of an impact as they want. The projects are very meaningful, and you know that they really do "make a difference." And it is a fun time too!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PMD is a well organized and sustainable non-profit organization using volunteer time and effort wisely and making sure the recipient organization benefits with a corresponding match of effort and volunteer activity. Volunteers learn, meet new people, are useful, and have fun! Being able to volunteer for a specific activity as your time permits (perhaps monthly, quarterly or annually) and as your interest allows is key to having a great experience for all involved.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Projects are well planned and clearly of benefit to both the charity and its individual recipients. A wide array of volunteer opportunities are available over the course of the year allowing PMD volunteers to select the type, time, and focus of their event. The Executive Director is an excellent organizer and project manager so everyone knows what is to be accomplished and what everyone is to do. The volunteers are interesting, capable people representing a spectrum of ages and experience. At the end of a project it seems that everyone had a good time, met some new people, and feels good about what they have done.

2 Carlos C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as PMD project manager from early January till late May of this year, and I can definitely say that I had fun every step of the way! I really enjoyed the fact that the PMD sponsors a variety types of projects: from working with Legos to feeding the elderly! It was wonderful seeing that a lot of people in the community are eager to help give back in whatever way they can. It was my first year in Boston, and I'm glad part of that year was spent working with PMD and all the amazing volunteers.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful varied volunteer projects designed for the maximum satisfaction of the volunteer! When singles complain they have trouble meeting nice people, I recommend volunteering through PMD! There are ice breakers at the beginning of each project, then you work alongside other people who have given their time to do good, with no pressure to impress anyone. Or keep in contact unless you choose to exchange info. The projects are all for local charities that couldn't function without certain one-day or half-day projects done. It is very satisfying and interesting to sign up for different groups and tasks!

2 Jennifer248

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with PMD as a volunteer, project manager and board member for 15 years. I don't think I've ever stuck with anything for 15 years, but PMD makes it so easy! I can make a real difference even if I only have 8 hours once a month or once a year and I can do it in so many different ways. I love to do outdoor planting and trail work when the weather is warm, cooking around the holidays, and everything else in between (sorting seeds, delivering meals, visiting elders, etc.). If you are busy, but know you can give a morning, afternoon or full day, check out PMD's variety of amazing projects just waiting for a volunteer like you :)

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've served with PMD as both a project leader and as a volunteer. PMD's vision encompasses not only a fun and well organized volunteer experience, but also learning in a meaningful way about the charity's mission and activities. I've also met interesting people from all walks of life, and to try new experiences I would never have otherwise. Through PMD, I've painted huge Walk for Hunger signs (my favorite project!), assembled braille books, trimmed alien species from protected areas, and walked on a bog. And of course, the homemade cookies at the end of each project! :-)

PMD is also the rare agency that emphasizes safety and informed volunteerism. The PMD project leader has a HUGE backpack with a full first aid kit and other tools to meet contingencies. I once got something in my eye, and the project leader pulled out an eye wash kit. Amazing! Before a project, PMD will send detailed site directions and background information about the project and the charity.

I highly recommend PMD to volunteers, including those who are busy but still want to serve, those who are new to volunteering and trying to get to know what charities are out there, and those who like to try a variety of experiences, indoor and out. I am grateful to PMD and founder/executive director Lori Tsuruda for making such a valuable resource available!