Raising Hands for Participation, many people's hands up. Part of Microvolunteering

Have you heard of Microvolunteering?

Sometimes known as byte-sized volunteering or speed volunteering, this involves volunteers donating their time in small efficient bursts, to tasks that can be done anytime, anywhere. It generally refers to easy, non-committal, cost-free actions that take less than 30 minutes to complete. The recent rise of microvolunteering is indicative to the preferences and circumstances of volunteers who live hectic and busy lives where sometimes a long-term commitment isn’t possible or where a changing schedule doesn’t allow a permanent slot in the diary.

Research has shown that 65% of people who microvolunteer continue to do so one year later. The evident appetite for convenient and quick volunteering suggests that incorporating microvolunteering initiatives to existing programmes – therefore providing more choice and flexibility for volunteers, is increasingly vital in helping to shape the future of how people can help the causes they care about.

Advancements in technology have enabled computer and smartphone apps that can provide opportunities for volunteers to easily donate their time; hence the majority of microvolunteers are doing so from the comfort of their own home, with research suggesting 80% of microvolunteering takes place online. This gives companies and charities the potential to engage a new digital audience who are less likely to volunteer in a more traditional manner and opens up a whole new realm of possibility for innovative volunteering opportunities.

If you want to make maximum impact with micro effort, here are 5 exciting ways to donate your time online:

1. Use your skills

Skills for change is a way of putting your professional skills to good use for community projects and grassroots non-profits worldwide. The site matches your interests and passions to your professional skills to suggest microvolunteering opportunities that both aid valuable projects and boost your CV. Volunteers are invited to complete a series of one-off mini challenges, such as designing an email template or suggesting backgrounds for a YouTube channel.

2. What’s your mission?

CauseCorps encourages volunteers to take direct action on causes they care about through short, free missions; making good deeds a daily habit. Volunteers are invited to connect with like-minded people and make an impact on important causes, often with the opportunity to learn new skills. CauseCorps host events in cafes and public places around the world, where volunteers can write, plan, learn, and teach together. You even get to see how your actions helped the cause once you’re done.

3. Lend your eyes

Be My Eyes has a goal to make the world more accessible to people who are blind or have a low level of vision. You can download the free app that connects volunteers with visually impaired people so they can provide assistance with small day-today tasks, via a live video call. A blind or low-vision user may need help with anything from checking expiry dates, distinguishing colors, reading instructions or navigating new surroundings.

4. People power

Zoouniverse is the world’s largest platform for people-powered research and enables volunteers to take part in cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. You don’t need any specialised background, training or expertise to be able to participate. Users are asked to study authentic objects of interest gathered by researchers, like images of faraway galaxies, historical records and diaries, or videos of animals in their natural habitats. By answering simple questions about them, you’ll help to aid understanding, which will contribute towards valuable research.

5. Become a digital activist

Amnesty Decoders is an innovative platform for volunteers around the world to use their computers or phones to help with research and exposure of human rights violations. Otherwise, keep it simple by sharing positive messages online or signing an online petition for a cause you care about.

Or get creative!.. You don’t have to use an online portal as there are plenty of opportunities all around us to help us take small meaningful actions. You could take part in a sponsored race, organise some recycling or donate to a local charity shop. You could even take part in the 2-minute beach clean campaign next time you take a trip to the local seaside!

Volunteers’ Week is taking place from 1st-7th June 2019. You can read more about the day here: https://volunteersweek.org/.

Want to find out more about how small acts can make a big impact?

Read our blog post Random Acts of Kindness to see how you can make a difference.