Portland startup Field Day launches website to connect businesses with volunteer opportunities

Field Day, a Portland startup that aims to encourage volunteer programs within companies, launched its web portal Wednesday after months of private testing.

Founded by former employees of the Portland video encoding company Elemental Technologies, Field Day caters to companies that see civic engagement as part of their corporate culture. She also hopes that companies will see volunteering as a way to build connections and camaraderie among their employees after the pandemic.

Field Day’s website lists nonprofit volunteer opportunities and provides organizations with tools to manage events and trade associations. It charges companies a subscription, depending on the size of the company, to access services that coordinate and track volunteering.

The startup employs seven in its downtown office. It ran a trial with 16 businesses and 40 nonprofits after raising an unspecified amount of seed funding last December.

“It’s good business to be involved in the community,” said CEO Eli Blackman, former director of sales and product manager for Elemental.

Elemental was one of the most prominent of a generation of Portland startups that grew rapidly after the Great Recession. Blackman’s late brother was Elemental CEO and co-founder Sam Blackman, who was active in Portland civic affairs and helped launch an annual fundraising campaign that benefited several nonprofit organizations.

After Elemental’s sale to Amazon in 2015, Eli Blackman ran community engagement programs at the Seattle tech giant and was inspired to start a separate business dedicated to facilitating connections with nonprofits.

Field Day employs seven in its downtown office. Its website currently focuses on Portland businesses and nonprofits, but Blackman said the startup is working with companies that have groups of remote workers and hopes to expand to other cities. , early.

Initial feedback from businesses and nonprofits has been encouraging, according to Blackman, but he said he anticipates a lot of work over the next year as Field Day refines its approach, pricing schedule and playbook for adding other cities.

“There’s a lot of value and utility in what we’re building,” Blackman said. “That doesn’t mean the business model takes care of itself.”

Correction: Field Day charges businesses a subscription to participate. This item originally had an incorrect description of its pricing model.

–Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | 503-294-7699 | Twitter: @rogoway |

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