Microvolunteering Day takes place on 15th April every year. And this year’s date is fast-approaching.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered a number of resources to help volunteer managers get prepared for the day – and to create your own micro-volunteering opportunities. Let’s do this. 😉
What is Microvolunteering?
There’s a few definitions out there, but the most generic one is: ‘bite-sized, on-demand, no commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause’. Want to find out more: Check out An Intro to Microvolunteering Guide.
What is Microvolunteering Day?
Microvolunteering Day takes place every year on April 15th and is intended to engage individuals in microvoluntering tasks, inspire organisations to embrace the idea, and stimulate discussion on the concept. On the assumption that Microvolunteering Day seems like a great idea to galvanize people into short-term action, what is a a volunteer manager to do to tap in to this growing trend for a bit of bite-sized benevolence?
The vast majority of microvolunteering tasks are conducted online, and can either be skilled or unskilled, with a completion time of between 1 – 120 minutes. A study from 2013 from the Institute of Volunteering Research stated “The demand for microvolunteering from individuals is likely to grow because it meets people’s desire to be in control of their time and engagement, and suits their increasingly busy and unpredictable lives.”
Creating a microvolunteering action that perhaps only lasts 10 minutes might seem a bit daunting, especially when most volunteer managers’ gut reaction is to question whether the time taken to create an action is worth the impact generated from it. Well, it all depends on what type of action you’re creating. Typically there are three different types, these being:
1) One-off, non repeatable skilled action. Examples include logo design, a small bit of translation, proofreading a document etc. Such tasks could be described and uploaded to the very pro-active SkillsForChange microvolunteering platform in about 10 minutes.
2) Repeatable skilled actions. Check out PhotoFoundation for an example of this type of action. Invite your supporters to snap interesting or unusual photos, afterwhich upload them to the PhotoFoundation platform. Why? Because each picture has the potential to earn a royalties income for your nonprofit.
3) Repeatable unskilled actions. These actions can range from being as simple as tapping in to your supporters’ social reach using Justcoz, or being complex and costly in terms of either time or money to create, an example being Fraxinus (pattern recognition game on Facebook to save UK Ash trees)
The UK based Help From Home microvolunteering platform has a huge resource on creating micro-actions that provides links to ‘How To’ Guides, micro-task suggestions, photos of microvolunteering events, as well as ideas on how to generate discussions on the concept amongst your supporters. (6)
Motivating for Microvolunteering Day
Need ideas to encourage your supporters to give up their spare moments on Microvolunteering Day? Here’s a few:
– ‘Give 1%’: During a typical 1 hour lunchbreak, 1% equates to roughly 30 seconds, enough time to sign a petition
– PyjamaPower: Invite people to don their PJs and research free resources / information on the web that your nonprofit could use, all without getting out of bed. Easy sell!
– Microvolunteering Meetups: Designed to encourage groups of people to microvolunteer
– Pop-up stall: There’s a growing trend from some organisations to use on-demand actions like FreeRice (online quiz that feeds hungry people at no cost to the participant) via their laptops as a hook to entice visitors to their event stalls. There’s a quite a few scattered examples to view via this document
So, borrowing from MVD’s strapline of ‘1 day, 24 hours, and 10 minutes to do good’, could you find time to create an action that enables your supporters to spare just 600 seconds of their life to benefit your organisation?
Let us know what you’ve come up with by contacting our marketing and communications manager Sheila or let us know on our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+.