Newly launched web site connects Saskatoon non-profits with donors
Saskatoon nonprofits do a lot of great work, but sometimes it is difficult for potential donors and nonprofits to socialize.
A new website called onesmallstepsk.ca launched on Tuesday could help change that.
The website connects donors with nonprofits to ensure the organizations’ most pressing needs are met, says Alice Kuipers, one of the community members behind the project.
“There is an incredible force in the city’s nonprofit sector that is really changing the lives of the people who use these services, but it’s very difficult to understand the full range of what these nonprofits do,” Kuipers told Saskatoon Morning’s Leisha Grebinski.
For example, she said that the Food Bank also has a learning center component. Or Haven Family Connections, which also runs Haven’s Kids’ House (formerly Crisis Nursery) and a program that supports families at home so that children can stay with their parents.
“We wanted people to know this so they could support the work, donate to that work, and easily find which nonprofit in town best fits their values,” said Kuipers.
Saskatoon morning8:07onesmallstep.ca matches donors with nonprofits that need them
The idea for the website has been in development for over two years.
It started when Kuipers and his parishioner Gregg Bamford took part in the Sanctum Survivor Challenge.
The challenge asks you to live as if you were homeless for 36 hours.
It was a profound experience for Bamford.
“I was probably the one who would have thought, ‘Why doesn’t a homeless man just go into a job?’ And then I realized what it was like to be that person on the street, “said Bamford.
“We only saw microseconds of what a person’s life looks like on a daily basis. I have probably had the greatest influence on standing in line with families and young children, and that is their everyday life.”
After that, Kuipers reached out to a few nonprofits and it took hours to get connected. Bamford shared a video about his experience that went viral.
“So many people got in touch and said, ‘How can I help and how can I make a difference?’ said Bamford.
“We reached out to nonprofits to find a place to bring these people back and there was no place.”
They spoke to some nonprofits along with the local digital company Zu and developed the One Small Step website.
The website is designed to be simple and easy to use for both donors and nonprofits.
Saskatoon’s Friendship Inn has the website to update what you urgently need. (CBC)
Nonprofits can update their urgent needs on the website, and donors can either search for an organization to see what they need or find the item you need to donate and see who needs it.
Items can be food, gloves, hand sanitizer, towels, or even volunteer work.
The Webstie started with 12 non-profit organizations.
“Once we know the site is working well … we can get others on board to support the vulnerable sector here in Saskatoon and provide frontline services,” said Kuipers.
Bamford said the first goal is to raise awareness about these organizations.
The website is sponsored by Nutrien and the University of Saskatchewan and is free to nonprofits.
“We’re just connecting people so they can go straight to the nonprofit that best fits their values,” said Kuipers.
The first 12 non-profit organizations on onesmallstepsk.ca are Prairie Harm Reduction, YWCA, OUTSaskatoon, Egadz, St8-Up, White Buffalo Youth Lodge, Sanctum Care Group, Haven Family Connections, BBBS, Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center, Friendship Inn and READ You Saskatoon.