13. OnHand

Providing nearby volunteering opportunities you can sign up for in minutes, OnHand is the app for employees and companies wanting to do more good.

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Founders: Sanjay Lobo MBE
Year founded: 2020
Website: beonhand.co.uk

The cost of living crisis has unduly impacted the most vulnerable in our society, many of whom rely on charities to find food, care, and shelter. At the same time, volunteering in England is at a historic low, with participation rates dropping by 48% in five years.

Where have all the Good Samaritans gone? Well, they’re stuck at their desks, unable to make the time or find the information they need to seek out effective, nearby community projects that fit around their workloads. This is where OnHand comes in.

OnHand is the on-demand volunteering app that lets employees help with homelessness support, food poverty, and youth mentoring – wherever and whenever they choose. Focusing on hyper-local, short actions, workers can sign up for activities like picking up medication, helping with gardening, or volunteering at a local food bank – all in one tap.

OnHand’s mission statement has chimed with hundreds of clients including Domestic & General Channel 4, Trainline and DoorDash

In today’s world, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is as fundamental a pillar for businesses as talent and funding. This is why OnHand’s mission statement has chimed with hundreds of clients including Domestic & General Channel 4, Trainline, DoorDash, and heaps more.

While it began as a way to help individuals support the NHS during COVID-19, OnHand has since diversified to put the ‘E’ in ESG. Users complete sustainability pledges through the app, enabling employees to combat the climate crisis and employers to demonstrate real, measurable environmental impact to stakeholders.

In March last year, Sanjay walked away from a pitch on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, with four Dragons willing to invest in OnHand, generating £100,000 in investment

Since appearing in position 14 in our index last year (founder Sanjay Lobo also won our Exceptional Founder award for his work during the pandemic), the company has celebrated several achievements.

In March last year, Sanjay walked away from a pitch on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, with four Dragons willing to invest in OnHand, generating £100,000 in investment, heaps of exposure for the business, and a huge uptick in enquiries.

OnHand also raised £3.3m in pre-seed funding, which it will use to target expansion into new global territories. Plus, it’s also gained industry approval, having ranked the number one Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provider in G2’s quarterly report.

Next, the brand is targeting 1.8 million OnHand actions – tripling its impact in 2022 – by scaling its lead generation and sales. Lobo reveals he has “huge ambitions as a team,” and is aiming to deliver over one billion impact actions across the world in the next decade.

With nearly 3,000 pledges currently on the app, OnHand is making it easier for employees and employers to lend a helping hand in their communities. In Chinese culture, the number 13 is associated with ‘assured or guaranteed growth'. Could this be a sign? We’ll be keeping a close eye on OnHand next year as it targets a transition from local reach to global impact.

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