YouthNet announces new owner for volunteer website, Do-it

The Mix Staff

Online charity YouthNet today announces that a partnership led by the team behind the volunteering social networking site as the intended new owner for its volunteering service, Do-it.

YouthNet, which masterminded the launch of Do-it in 2001, made the decision to look for a new owner for the service in March this year to enable the charity to focus on the needs of young people. Interested parties were invited to submit proposals as part of an extensive open process led by YouthNet in conjunction with the Office for Civil Society

The aim of the open process was to find a new owner to continue to support the sector and engage individuals to volunteer, as well as lead Do-it to the next phase of its development. The team from the charity the Red Trust, which runs, leads a strong partnership of five committed and complementary organisations with backgrounds and experience in the charity and educational sectors, which will work together to take Do-it forward.

The primary organisations in the new partnership are; the team from, Believe.In, Blue Dot, Prospectus and Vivo.  The partnership is further supported by others including Tinder Foundation and their network of UK Online Centres, TimeBank and a Volunteer Centre advisory group.

This exciting partnership was felt by the selection panel to offer robust, well considered and appropriate plans which ensure Do-it continues to support its partners and volunteers using the service, as well as develop innovative new ways to support further giving of time and provide a sustainable business model for the service.

YouthNet CEO, Emma Thomas says: “We were delighted to receive strong applications for Do-it, which demonstrated a real passion for the service and the leading role that it has come to play within the voluntary sector.

Do-it’s success is something we are extremely proud of and has only been possible with the support of Volunteer Centres, partners and the dedicated team at YouthNet.  Do-it has benefited millions of volunteers and the volunteering sector, yet it has grown beyond YouthNet’s mission to support young people.  We want to ensure the investment and value of Do-it is retained for the sector, so looked to find an organisation totally committed to volunteering and with the passion and capability to continue to grow and evolve the service.

“As YouthNet continues its ambitious plans to double the number of young people we support by 2016, we are confident of the absolute commitment the team lead by Jamie Ward-Smith of has to enable Do-it to continue as a key part of the volunteering landscape and we are excited about their plans for the future.

“We will be working with the partnership and the OCS to ensure that there is no disruption to service during the transition and all users will continue to be fully supported.”

The Office for Civil Society has outlined its commitment to supporting the transition of Do-it. Nick Hurd MP, Government Minister for Civil Society, has confirmed that funding will be available to support the transition of the service to a new owner and a sustainable financial footing.

The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, says: “It is great news that volunteering is growing. It makes it even more important that we have the best possible platforms for connecting people to the right opportunities. In the digital age, Do-it is a very important asset. The new management team have an ambitious vision which we support. I hope the whole sector will get behind it.”

Jamie Ward-Smith, CEO of said: “ivo and our partners are really looking forward to this unique opportunity to build on YouthNet’s incredible legacy. We have exciting plans for Do-it’s future and we have put together a great team that will enable Do-it to continue to power volunteering and civil society for many years to come. For me this is a chance to combine things I am passionate about -volunteering, technology and Volunteer Centres – and I can’t wait to get started!”

Do-it will be passed to the new owner along with its software services and database of volunteers by December 2013.


* The new owners were chosen through an extensive open process that started in April 2013, shortly after YouthNet announced the decision to transfer the service. Further information on this process can be found here.

Media Enquiries:

For YouthNet, please contact Emma Motherwell, [email protected], tel: 020 7250 5716 or out of hours: 07766 660 755

For OCS, please contact Ben King, [email protected], tel: 0207 276 1447

For ivo, please contact Penny Gee, Poppyland PR, Direct line 01263 514805 Mobile 07702 475972 [email protected]

Notes to editors

YouthNet is the charity behind the online guide to life, TheSite and the UK’s leading
online volunteering resource, Do-it.

  • It was the UK’s first exclusively online charity and was founded by Martyn Lewis CBE, in
  • TheSite provides essential, straight-talking, anonymous advice to young people about the issues affecting their lives and reaches a million 16- 25s in the UK each year.
  • TheSite has been helping to improve the lives of young people for 16 years, and includes a thriving and supportive online community of over 40,000 registered users.
  • Run by online charity YouthNet, Do-it ( hosts
    around 1 million opportunities to volunteer, searchable by postcode, plus
    articles and advice on finding the perfect role.
  • By the end of December 2012 1,079,597 volunteers were registered on Do-it and each month more than 55,000 opportunities are applied for through Do-it.
  • It is intended that volunteering social networking site, will merge its volunteer recruitment service in to Do-it, incorporating the best features of both platforms to make it even easier for individuals to connect with volunteering opportunities and get involved.

About the partnership

ivo is the network for social change connecting people, companies and organisations that want to change their world. Launched in 2012 after an 18 month pilot ivo makes it simple for people to get involved in the community and to connect and share with their peers, which includes the UK’s largest online community of volunteering and social action professionals. ivo was the first social platform for volunteers of all ages and features unique tools including Portfolios where volunteers can showcase their work and have it endorsed by the communities they help.

Under the registered charity Red Trust, ivo will own, lead, manage and develop Do-it, to continue to provide an easy route into volunteering and social action for anyone that wants to get involved in the community, and supporting civil society organisations including Volunteer Centres to recruit and engage volunteers.

ivo is run by CEO Jamie Ward-Smith and led by a board of trustees that include skills from the charity, social enterprise and commercial sectors.


Partners are a creative technology business which develops universal access, powerful connections and free, useful tools that bring together charities and individuals, including a fundraising platform where 100% of donations go to the charity. will lead Do-it’s technical development and extend its reach into new corporate markets.

Blue Dot is a social marketing agency which pioneered incentivising doing good through its Blue Dot World platform where members earn rewards in exchange for giving time and money. Blue Dot will lead on securing brand sponsorship and leading high impact profile raising campaigns to position Do-it as a primary UK brand to enable people to change
the world.

Prospectus is a leading recruitment and recruitment advertising agency for the beyond profit sector. With more than 50 years experience Prospectus will enable Do-it to develop links between volunteering and paid employment through a range of new recruitment products.

Vivo specialises in behaviour management, reward and recognition solutions and will be providing a social currency framework for the new Do-it site that will enable members to opt in to earn rewards in exchange for getting involved. Vivo will also extend Do-it’s reach into the education sector – where they are currently in 25% of schools – and into new corporate markets.

Secondary partners include Tinder Foundation and their network of UK Online Centres, TimeBank,  and a Volunteer Centre advisory groups comprising of Volunteer Centres in Bexley, Brighton & Hove, Dorset, Enfield, Herts and Southwark


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Published on 29-Aug-2013