Goodnik is a community-based skill-sharing platform where users can find people in their communities (or the site at large) who can help them with their projects, or find projects they can help others with. When you help people, you earn goodnikels, which are a time based time-based alternative currency that you can then use to hire others to help with your projects. Each goodnikel is worth 1/10th of an hour of time, or in other words for each hour that you help someone, you earn 10 goodnikels, and can hire someone else to work for you for an hour. Every goodnikel is "mined" in the service of a social impact organization, which get goodnikel "service grants" to help them solve their organizations' problems. In that way, everyone who is part of Goodnik is a do-gooder, a mensch, a stand-up citizen who has either helped a social impact organization directly or indirectly by working on projects on the site.
When you sign up, you'll get a few goodnikels in your account to get you started. You can use those goodnikels to get a consultation from someone else on the site that could help you with whatever project your working on, whether that's a for-profit, non-profit, day-job or side-gig, or just something that you'd like to learn more about. To hire people for bigger projects, you'll have to earn some goodnikels by helping other people on the site with their projects. Once you’ve earned goodnikels, you can use them to hire web developers, graphic designers, marketing experts, lawyers, and accountants, or any number of other skilled service providers.
Of course, if have more money than you have goodnikels. you can also offer to compensate for work with cash. Using either goodnikels or cash helps keep wealth in your community and support the causes you care about. And that’s what Goodnik is really all about – supporting your community, supporting your cause, and supporting yourself.
How does it work?
- As a service provider, you can use your professional skills to help others in your community, whether that’s your coworking space, alumi group, meetup, club or association. If your community doesn’t exist yet, create it on the Communities page and then invite others to join. Once you’ve earned goodnikels, you can start posting requests for services (“projects”) on the site. Or if you don’t have a need for anything, donate your goodnikels to a social impact organization or friend who might need them.
- As a person in need of professional services, before you can post a request for services, you need to get some goodnikels. This could be by working for one of the social impact organiztions on the site, or someone else who has posted a project that matches your skill set. Once you have goodnikels, you can post your own projects and request help from others in your community. The best way to start is with a “consultation” which is a one-hour session with a professional who has the skills you need. Once you’re connected to a person with those skills, they can help you “scope” your larger project. To connect with professionals you can either wait for them to apply to your project or you can find someone with the right skills and “recruit” them. If they agree, you’ll be connected with them through the system.
- As a social impact organization, you can apply for an initial service grant or loan to fund your first project. You fill out a profile for you and your organization, and post the project description on Goodnik. Then spread the word to your members and others in your community so that potential service providers know about your needs, and can sign up for goodnikels to help. A grant is only good for your first project though; to get goodnikels for subsequent projects, you’ll to have to earn them, or recruit your board, your friends or your members to help other organizations and have them donate their goodnikels to you. It's a cycle of good!
What is a goodnik anyway?
The word goodnik has slavic roots, with the suffix -nik meaning something like "doer of that thing." You may have hear other words using that suffix, like peacenik, beatnik or sputnik. There has been a casual usage term "no-goodnik" meaning someone who is a ne'er-do-well, lazy or incompetant person. We thought "hey, if there are no-goodniks, doesn't that mean that others can be goodniks?" and that's how the name was born.