What is Micro Volunteering?
Micro Volunteering is ‘small, quick, low commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause’. The actions might be a task that could be accomplished as a whole unit from start to finish by one person within, say 30 minutes or it might be an action that could be broken down into its component parts where an individual is just one of many people performing the same task to achieve an end result.
Micro volunteering has been around for quite a while. Consider the act of helping an old lady cross the street – that’s micro volunteering because you spent a few minutes of your own time helping somebody out.
Nowadays, micro volunteering has moved on a bit. You can still help out little old ladies, but this time you can do it from your own computer or your own smartphone, whilst on the bus or in your own home. You can help out organisations and individuals around the globe with click to donate websites, micro loans, surveys, writing small articles and much more. No matter how you help, there are initiatives out there that provide opportunities that will take no more than 30 minutes to accomplish.
So what makes micro volunteering potentially attractive to this new breed of do-gooder? Well, here’s a few points on the ‘pros’ of micro volunteering that may just persuade you to start changing the world:
Micro-actions can be conducted anywhere, at any time and so therefore people can control the environment in which they volunteer their time, thereby making it potentially safer than traditional volunteer opportunities.
Most micro-actions are non-committal, which means that one of the barriers that inhibits people to perform traditional volunteering, has now been stripped away. You can dip in and dip out whenever you want.
People who are shy and uncomfortable with a group of strangers might feel more at home with micro volunteering as they can now volunteer in their own company.
It empowers people to realise they can make a difference, as they can now do something that benefits a worthy cause on their own terms, which gives them greater control over the difference they can make.
You can do it while watching telly, on the bus or in your pyjamas. You’re not restricted to being at a certain place at a certain time anymore. Volunteering can go wherever you go.
Can Micro Volunteering Really Make A Difference?
There is a huge diversity in the type of micro-actions that can be performed and is so expansive in it’s scope, that it covers areas that traditional volunteering opportunities simply just do not cover. Therefore, there is more scope to do more good, whereas before there might have been none. It enables people who otherwise couldn’t volunteer, to now contribute their time to worthy causes, eg. disabled and housebound people. Therefore there is potentially a much larger group of people to pool from. Because micro-actions lend themselves to being performed whenever and wherever, the potential number of people able to participate can now be pooled from the whole of the world rather than just a local or national area. Micro-actions are easy and there is normally no commitment required from people. Therefore, these very attributes might encourage people to explore similar and even more actions. The overall time spent on philanthropic actions might increase. There is usually no requirement for a disclosure (police check), which means that there is one less hurdle to cross in order to volunteer Practically all micro volunteering opportunities require the minimal of training. You just read the instructions and go. This really pushes micro volunteering into the ‘easy’ bracket and once again, removes a stumbling block that puts people off volunteering in the first place.
How To Find A Micro Volunteering Task
Below are some links that make use of mirco volunteering.
Help from Home: Help from Home has over 500 micro volunteering activities!