Small But Mighty: Micro-Volunteering
It’s all about making it easy - that’s the LIKECHARITY philosophy about donating to charity, but now the charity sector are applying this mindset to their hunt for volunteers - and it’s working!
Charity staff and regular volunteers are invaluable, their knowledge of the organisation means that they can undertake larger tasks without instruction, explanation or supervision. But their time is usually wrapped up in the smaller, finicky tasks which as a whole end up being very time consuming.
During the year charities are often short on manpower, but getting new volunteers on-board can be a campaign in and of itself.
It’s difficult to make volunteering easy and flexible, people find it hard to fit volunteering programmes into their already busy lives.
But there’s a new method of volunteering emerging that seems to have all the answers - micro volunteering.
It’s simple in concept and execution - doing whatever you can, whenever you can.
Micro-volunteering asks people to do a small, quick, sporadic task that will benefit their chosen charity.
Micro-volunteering tasks must be:
- Low commitment - nothing that needs surveillance or monitoring
- Quick - maximum of 30 minutes to complete
- Convenient - typically internet based, can be done from anywhere
- Completed - must be completed in 30 minutes, not a smaller part of a large task.
The new phase began with volunteers using their own initiative - cleaning out their wardrobe and donating the clothes to a charity shop, or printing off the poster of a non-profit’s latest campaign and posting it on their work or apartment notice board.
Now charities are embracing micro-volunteering and making the most out of their supporters few spare minutes
It all starts with creating a list of minor tasks that don’t require training or detailed explanation to be completed, and uploading them to your website or social media.
Micro volunteering can also be creative - why not play on your supporter’s strengths! Ask micro-volunteers to submit fundraising ideas or design an email footer or Facebook picture banner containing your logo. You get your volunteers involved and get unique artwork.
Get mobile about it - some charities are really investing in their micro-volunteering programmes by creating mobile apps that make tasks even easier to find and complete for their micro-volunteers.
One America-based climate control charity created an app through which they asks volunteers across the country to simply input how they’re feeling every day. They then use this information to compile research on how climate affects people’s moods.
Why implement micro-volunteering?
It allows people to engage with your charity without having to commit too much time. Hopefully in the future they will be able to volunteer on a larger scale or become a regular donor - you’re creating a dedicated supporter out of people who are slightly interested.
It’s unlikely to defer your current volunteers from their work, but it may help alleviate a bit of pressure on staff or regular volunteers. And in the end - every little bit goes a long way.
World Micro-Volunteering Day is 15th March