Micro-volunteering: no commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause

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Rubén Escobar (
  • Microvolunteering Day. Image: I'm in Kirklees
    Microvolunteering Day. Image: I'm in Kirklees.
  • Screenshot from a micro-volunteering video. Photo: Youtube
    Screenshot from a micro-volunteering video. Photo: Youtube.
  • Help From Home, a platform where finding micro-volunteering opportunities. Image: Help From Home
    Help From Home, a platform where finding micro-volunteering opportunities. Image: Help From Home.

Volunteering wherever and whenever you want is something achievable through different micro-volunteering platforms.

Bite-sized tasks that you can take part in right here, right now. This is the main point of micro-volunteering, a way of collaborating and joining non-profit projects in spare time between 1 and 30 minutes to create impact. No specialised skills are needed, and there are different ways of micro-volunteering. Basically this new way of making good has many opportunities for people who want to make impact when they are not busy.

Micro-volunteering can be done from your own sofa, during TV commercial breaks, in your garden, babysitting or in your pyjamas before going to bed. Also, travelling is a moment of people’s lives when they might be able to micro-volunteer, for example, when they’re in a traffic jam, on a bus or a train journey or cruising between sea ports.

As a matter of fact, there is a Micro-volunteering Day recognised every year on April 15th. The term was popularised in 2008 by The Extraordinaries, now Skills For Change, where the concept has since grown in stature to become a global force for matching up people who want to put the spare moments to more impactful use, with worthy causes who need a small volunteering task completed. They key benefit is flexibility and smartphones apps are helping volunteers donate their time in short, efficient bursts.

Some of the on-demand actions that already exist can be found in Apps such as FixMyStreet, Littergram or Child Rescue Alert. Help From Home, a leading promoter of mico-actions throughout the world does show some of them in order to do smartphone volunteering. Online but no login actions, offline actions, quickies in under 5 minutes and playing games for research are some other ways to micro-volunteer that are already available for volunteers that are interested.

Apart from Help from Home, there are many platforms that are already online for volunteers looking to see what else is out there over and above those actions categorised before. Skills for Change, Zooinverse, Brightone, Cause Corps, GlobalGiving Time, Crowdcrafting and Crowd4U are some of them.

Micro-volunteering gets lots done quickly and efficiently. This is the reason why charities can make the most of this new opportunity by saving time and money, only if it is carefully planned and implemented. Normally volunteers show up from across a wide geographical area and your charity must think if this way of volunteering has a place in your organisation. To do so, some basic rules such as for how long the help will be needed, how much supervision is required and how you’ll check the quality of voluntary work done are key aspects that can definitely make a difference at the end of the process. 

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