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2017 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 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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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.


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!


Client Served

Rating: 5

The volunteers at PMD painted signs for Brookwood Community Farm. They were colorful and fun and appeiciated by all who visit the farm


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!


Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with PMD helped this non-profit conservation organization meet its ecological and community-involvement goals for 10 years! Their professionalism, organization and preparedness made the projects that much more effective and productive. Having experience working with other volunteers, I highly recommend PMD to other charities.