Our Story

From our roots to our work today, we exist to Activate Good.

Where We Started

Our organization was founded in 2005 under the name ME3 (motivate, educate, empower, and engage). ME3 was launched following a two and a half month cross-country road trip during which co-founders Amber Smith and Heather Leah conducted random acts of kindness and volunteered with a variety of causes in over 20 states. Along the journey, they discovered that many they met were very interested in volunteering, but didn’t know how to get started. At the same time, nonprofits had a great and consistent need for more volunteers to help them serve and improve the communities they worked in. This experience inspired the friends to found ME3 to close the gap between those who wanted to help out but didn’t know how, and those causes that needed volunteer help from more people in the community.

Since the launch of our volunteer matching and connecting program in 2008 we’ve worked to connect individuals and groups to opportunities to help local causes in ways that matched their skills, schedules, and interests. Additionally, Activate Good has been working with schools, teens, and families through our Youth Program since 2010, engaging hundreds (or in some years, thousands) of youth in service and leadership opportunities.

In 2011 we changed our name to Activate Good to better reflect our growing role and future as a facilitator of more volunteerism in our community. The Activate Good name embodies our excitement to continue empowering volunteer action and good works in Raleigh, the Greater Triangle, and beyond!

Fast forward to today: Activate Good has mobilized over 50,000 community members to serve over 600 partners, which include nonprofits, schools, government agencies, and other community organizations that rely on volunteer support. While our founder Amber Smith transitioned out of her role as Executive Director in 2024, our mission continues under the leadership of our amazing Board and Staff! 

We recognize that connections to others around us are what inspire people to volunteer action. By further building these connections through our new approach, volunteers who join our community can become connectors themselves, bringing more and more local people into the fold and increasing the collective impact we can have on local causes.

Our Mission

Learn More

Our Impact

Get Involved

Meet the Team


Interested in joining the Activate Good team?