Yesterday I was asked by a researcher at a University about the pilot, particularly at this time. I gave an outline as I saw it and felt it is worth sharing here...
Whilst many are pivoting, Mind For Me has the same direction and model. What has changed is the need for support and assistance people have and the number of people offering to help. Also certainly the way a helping hand can be delivered whilst maintaining distance and minimising risk.
It's certainly been challenging having bootstrapped it to the current stage, life of a start-up social enterprise. There are two key learnings that have come from the pilot which are quite relevant now although have been reached for different reasons.
1. Offering Help
At first we had the thought that with the incentive of Kind Coins in place (non-monetary) people would be able to simply ask for the help and it could be provided. Barriers are still in place around taking that action to ask and for some they hold back and think to ask "later". Several would ask how someone could be helped but if no one had made a request for a hand then there was no task.
So to break down at least some of the barriers we've been working on including a way to make an offer of help, for it to be accepted by someone needing it which is a much easier action than making the initial request.
Relevant now as it means people will be able to offer those grocery runs, or to feed and walk pets, or even engage with those feeling lonely on the phone. That becomes easier for even those not actively speaking up and making it known, asking for help but needing it to be able to get it.
In engaging with some around community development such as some property developers, a way to both enable people to build connections and relationships within a particular community was of value and of course helps us with our value offering. It also added more ways to measure and present the impact for that community, and not necessarily geographically but could include Church Groups, Schools, Employers, Military units and so on.
Whereas now there are a few support groups popping up on Facebook trying to address the issue of providing assistance. With this same approach with the 'Groups' function we can allow them to maintain the Tribe they've established on Mind For Me. Identity and community for the group can allow people to offer and receive that support and assistance from within the same Facebook group they communicate with, share values and build trust and relationships.
And the experience...
I have had to keep pulling back over the last 6-9 months due to funding it myself, but take on board everything we can to keep moving forward, learn and understand as much as possible and build communities where we can collaborate and add value in the future. We've done a lot in the planning and development though a small achievable step behind delivering on a lot of needs right now. Individual and family needs as well as the logistical and management workload.
Crowdfunding is one area of focus, an opportunity for those within the community that can afford to pledge to be a part of making this happen. For others, a chance to also play a role and get involved simply by liking and sharing within their networks.
Together we'll have a stronger, more supportive community.