How it works
Hire local skills, fund social change.
Dignity is an online marketplace, where you can Hire or Volunteer skills, and all the payment is donated to causes you choose.
The volunteer donates their time.
The hirer donates their payment.
Skills might include:
Coaching, mentoring, kids entertainment, consultancy, illustration, teaching things, language lessons, dance classes, live music performances, yoga teaching, cookery classes, DIY guides, gardening advice, fixing things, music composing, product photography, copywriting, comedy performances, tech development, making things, counseling, graphic design, video editing, arts and crafts, music mixing, singing lessons… you get the idea.
It’s all about creating a more fun & sustainable way for everyone to support the solutions needed.
And about building trust within our communities through meeting your neighbours.
"Giving by Doing"
Key terms explained:
- The dignity member who is looking for a particular skill or task to be carried out. They pay for this service and the money goes to local causes.
- The Dignity member who offers their skills on a voluntary basis.
- The chosen charity, community group or local group that the funds will be donated to.
- The job that is carried out by the volunteer for the hirer. What is Dignity platform?
Dignity Platform is your local fundraising marketplace. You can hire a skill or volunteer your skills locally, and all the money paid goes to causes you choose.
Is Dignity free to use?
Dignity is a free service with no fees for individuals or causes. As a UK registered non-profit organisation, we invite you to give a donation so we can continue to keep the platform running. We like to practise what we preach and rely on the same method of fundraising we offer causes. The fate of Dignity Platform is in your hands!
How does Dignity work?
You can hire or volunteer skills through the site. The skills for hire will cost market rates, and all the money is donated to the causes the hirer and volunteer choose. (See ‘How it works’ for more detail)
What can I use Dignity for?
Who is Dignity for?
The platform is designed to be beneficial to all in your community, but currently under 18s cannot use the site due to liability and safeguarding considerations. We recognise that an online platform may be tricker for over 75s to use, but we hope that in the spirit of Dignity platform, neighbours and family members can help them to benefit from it. We plan to make Dignity as inclusive as possible for people with disabilities and continue to work on this. For more information see digital inclusion question below.
How is Dignity funded?
Currently Dignity is completely self-funded, and volunteer run. In our first year (2017) we won £15,000 of grant funding, and have gratefully received £1645 through crowdfunding since. We are in the process of applying for a large low-interest loan, to see us through our first 3 years of startup, to self-sustainability. (See the next question for our revenue model.)
How does Dignity make money?
Dignity is a non-profit cause (A non-profit CIC), so we invite users to pay-what-they-feel to us for the service. This is an optional donation, not a fee, but we hope you can see the value in contributing to sustain the platform. Without donations, Dignity will not be able to continue and this is part of our philosophy of sharing the ownership of the project with YOU, the members.
Are the gigs insured?
Dignity does not currently insure gigs. We strongly advise you to seek out your own insurance as a hirer and volunteer and to check the other party has insurance too. We are taking precautions in this early stage not to allow high risk gigs to be arranged through the platform, and we are exploring our options for insurance at a later date in our development.
Are users' identity verified?
Our current site is able to verify someone's identity through a bank account sign up, but please note, this is not fool-proof. This simply identifies they are a real person. We want to emphasise the importance of using your own judgement to take every precaution you can to be safe when meeting other users. Meet in public spaces, ask for professional reviews, insurance proof, verified identities on other sites etc. And if for any reason you do not feel safe with another user, please walk away, and we can refund you.
Are all listings moderated?
Before listings are live we are not able to verify them, but once they are on the site we will be checking and moderating them and will remove anything deemed inappropriate.
How can I contact the team?
You can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also use the live chat widget at the bottom left of your screen. Please bear in mind we’re only a small team of volunteers at this stage, so please be patient for a reply.
What is Ideaspace?
Ideaspace is a separate platform where you can donate your ideas and suggestions to the causes you’re supporting (including us). It’s a space for you to participate in the decisions being made by the causes you’re fundraising for. We (Dignity platform) use it to open up our decision making and allow YOU as Dignity members, to have your say. Ideaspace is a community forum with a voting function allowing questions to lead to collective decisions. It’s all about harnessing the collective creativity and intelligence of supporters and (most importantly) beneficiaries.
When was Dignity founded?
In 2017, when our two co-founders were living in different continents. We have had a slow, organic and patient journey bringing this idea to reality. (See Our Story for more detail)
What’s Dignity’s impact so far?
In 2018 with a part time volunteer team of three we proved the concept with our prototype, raising £2,285 for thirty-one different causes, through forty-one gigs.
What is Dignity’s longer term vision?
See ‘The Mission & story’ page and follow the links to dive deeper into the system change we hope to achieve.
Is there anything I can't use Dignity for?
You cannot use Dignity for illegal or harmful activities. The Dignity team have the right to block activities and users deemed inappropriate for our community. (If you spot something inappropriate please email us immediately on email@example.com with the subject URGENT)
What are the future ideas and visions for Dignity platform?
As soon as possible, we want to enable Gift-Aid on our donations to charities as this will generate considerably more money for all the causes.
We hope to build relationships with corporations who want to discount skills for disadvantaged hirers. We love the idea that neighbours with less financial freedom can still get access to the skills they require and desire, particularly upskilling related gigs.
We want people to eventually be able to choose multiple causes on their profile. This is currently limited by our manual process of payments and accounting.
We want to enable digitally excluded members to have access to the site via tablets set up in community centres and charity shops.
We want to enable our causes to have access to the highly skilled individuals, via pro-bono match making. This too would need a form of corporate sponsorship.
What skills should I hire?
You can request any skills you want as long as it is legal and appropriate.
Here are some ideas below, but the possibilities are endless!
Help moving house
What skills should I volunteer?
You can volunteer any skill you want as long as it is legal and appropriate.
Here’s a few questions to help get you started:
What do other people come to you for help with?
Do you own a resource that isn’t getting used enough?
What is the thing that you do better than anyone else?
What’s your profession?
Are there skills you offer your friends for free?
How do I get started?
Sign up, create your profile and post a listing! You can visit the “How it works’ page for more info.
Will this take paid jobs away from small business owners?
We think there may be some instances of this, but we also feel that more skills will be hired because of the fundraising element creating requests that would otherwise not have been hired at all.
Eg. Sarah wants her bathroom repainted, but can’t justify spending £200 to do it. However, now she knows about Dignity platform, she can feel content in spending the money, as she knows all the money is going to local causes she loves. The painter might only offer the job as a one off, for the year, but Sarah could hire them again, external to Dignity, giving the painter a new paying client.
Why can’t people earn some money through the platform?
We decided we didn’t want to begin with this model, as we felt it might attract people to the platform who were more incentivised by their own income, than giving or connecting with others. We are considering adding this feature at a much later stage, but will let our community decide through our participatory decision making tool, Ideaspace.
How do I propose a new cause to be fundraised for?
You can go directly to this page on Ideaspace, make an account, and create a proposal for a new cause, giving as much detail about the cause as possible. There is also a link when you sign-up and choose your favourite cause.
What is Dignity doing to include digitally excluded people?
This is something we have had on our minds since day one. Inclusivity is what we’re all about, enabling everyone to connect and give, in the way they want to and can. At this very early stage, the only way we can currently enable digitally excluded people use the site is through a buddy system.
We know that older people and those less physically able might not be able to use our website. We are therefore enabling our members to post on behalf of others. This might be carers, children, friends or neighbours. We ask that when you post in this way, you make it explicit that this is on behalf of someone else, and it will then be up to the other person to take the necessary precautions to ensure safety.
We don’t yet have any budget to put towards digital inclusion, but here are some of the ideas we have to make it happen, as soon as possible:
We plan to attend events that are setup by the causes being fundraised for on Dignity Platform. This way we can meet people in person, who are keen to join Dignity, and create offers and requests on their behalf.
Charity shop & community centre tablets
We will set up tablets in easy to reach places to create access points to Dignity Platform. Charity shops make the most sense, as they can have their cause on the platform, enabling a new way to fundraise for them, while being in the shop. We can also train the shop keepers to guide people through the site.
Community Phone Line
We want to continue to harness the collective power and generosity of our community, this is why we plan to have a volunteer led phone line, where we enable other users to sign up digitally excluded neighbours. This way, even if someone only has a phone, they can still participate on Dignity Platform.