Monday, September 21, 2009

Catalista for iPhone Connects Volunteers With Local Nonprofits

SAN FRANCISCO — Inspired by President Obama's call to service, Catalista LLC released Catalista for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices today. The Catalista smartphone application helps people find and connect with nearby volunteer opportunities based on their location and preferences.

Catalista for iPhone and iPod touch helps individuals find real-time, local opportunities on their mobile phones -- so no matter where people are, they can always be connected to volunteering opportunities happening that day, weekend, or month near them. They can invite their friends on Facebook to volunteer, keep track of their impact, and rate their volunteering experience once they've done their good deed. Volunteers can choose from over 200,000 opportunities from across the United States.

Catalista for iPhone wants to help reverse the falling volunteering rates and what the National Conference on Citizenship has coined a "civic recession." Research from the Corporation of Community and National Service points out that since 2001, volunteering rates have fallen 27%, costing the nonprofit sector roughly 77 billion dollars, and the equivalent in time of nearly 3 million full-time jobs.

"We believe that it will be easier for people to discover and connect with ways to help in their communities through a smartphone, rather than a desktop. Catalista's Facebook integration makes it fun to encourage our friends to get offline and together lend a hand in the recovery of our neighborhoods and local nonprofits," said Catalina Ruiz-Healy, founder of Catalista LLC.

Catalista for iPhone and iPod touch is available on iTunes and is powered by All For Good. It is the first third-party All For Good application developed for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms.

"We are really excited about Catalista. It demonstrates how a developer can use the All for Good API to support Americans and their ability to find and participate in service opportunities wherever they might be, even when they are on the move and equipped with nothing more than their phone," said Jonathan Greenblatt, president of Our Good Works, the nonprofit organization managing All for Good.

A new app in support of doing good in your community, what could be more appropriate? Many communities are in dire need of easily accessible information, like volunteer opportunities. Often innovative ideas are directed towards the for-profit world, but with this new app from Catalista, we can hope to encounter growing support within our service organizations and in our communities at large.

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