Chat with an Extraordinary: Nathan Hand of Christel House
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Categories: Interviews

Chat with an Extraordinary: Nathan Hand of Christel House

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with Nathan Hand, the Development Associate for Christel House, about his organization’s experience with The Extraordinaries.

Christel House’s goal is to end poverty with a holistic, long-term approach. They have five learning centers around the world that serve children in extreme poverty. The children they work with receive education, health care, nutrition and, “everything they need to break the cycle of poverty.” The organization serves a little over 3,000 children worldwide, and has been around for 11 years.

Christel House started using The Extraordinaries a few months ago, and is offering two microvolunteer opportunities. The first is photo tagging images taken at their school in Bangalore, India. Hand says that the photo tagging is helpful for marketing purposes and, “it actually really does save our staff some valuable time.”
The second opportunity is writing a good luck message and study tip to students who are about to take standardized tests. According to Hand, “All these kids around the world have at some point, in every country, some sort of standardized test that they need to pass. Sometimes it makes or breaks graduation, sometimes it makes or breaks them getting into the next grade level, it depends on the country, but no matter where the child is, it’s a lot of pressure, and they spend their whole life preparing for it. What we’re trying to do is basically crowdsource the pat on the back.”

Hand says that The Extraordinaries is an effective tool for Christel House because, “We are a relatively small organization, but it’s a way to get people to not only hear about us, but to truly engage with us right away. When you talk about the engagement model for nonprofits, people can donate, or people can volunteer, things like that, but it just cuts down so many of the barriers. People literally, in a matter of seconds, can have a meaningful engagement with a kid in need through us. They have the warm glow, then they remember us, and they remember those kids, and that’s what it’s about.”

He said he would recommend The Extraordinaries to other nonprofits because, “It’s easy. Those folks are accessible. It’s new and exciting, and if we don’t dive into new and exciting nobody else will. It’s working. From this end, as part of the pilot, it did everything that they said it would, and we’re starting to get some good stuff from it, so it can only get better, and flow more smoothly, and engage more people.”

He’s looking forward to when The Extraordinaries will be available for additional platforms (i.e Blackberry, Droid), and not just the iPhone.

“I have done a lot of volunteer management kind of work,” said Hand, “I think people have been looking to see how the VolunteerMatches of the world, and some of those sorts of places, HandsOn Network, and the volunteer management sector, how they are going to adapt themselves to a mobile-on-demand world, and I think The Extraordinaries is doing it. It’s been a long time coming. We appreciate the work”

Let us know about your experience using The Extraordinaries in the comments or contact a member of the team.

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Britt Bravo also blogs at Have Fun * Do Good, BlogHer.com, WE tv’s WE Volunteer blog, and the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship blog. She is a Big Vision Consultant.

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