Microvolunteering - What is it and how does it work?

What is microvolunteering?

Microvolunteering involves quick and easy tasks that can usually be done from the comfort of your own home, like filling out a survey or sharing a post on social media. It's a great way to support causes you care about, without the pressure of a long-term commitment

Microvolunteering is the idea that people are much more likely to volunteer in short, convenient blocks of time and meet a combination of eight characteristics:

  • Small amounts of time
  • Easy to access
  • Immediate
  • Convenient
  • Task rather than role orientated
  • Informal agreement
  • Can take place online or offline
  • Can be a one-off or more regular

The most important element being that volunteers hold more control over their volunteering activities and tasks.

The future of microvolunteering

As the volunteer sector adapts to new processes such as the rise of virtual volunteering and digital transformation in a post Pandemic society, Micro-Volunteering is likely to become an important factor in volunteer retention and engagement. Research from the NVCO shows that Micro-Volunteering is likely to be a big part of future practice as those organisations who have already implemented it have “largely benefitted from doing so”. Although there can be risks involved. The NVCO also concluded that it can be riskier for those organisations who have a longer term volunteer focus as they may hold less control.

How to implement microvolunteering

To be able to make microvolunteering a reality, we believe that some degree of digitalisation is needed. If you have one small task and spend an hour finding the right volunteer to complete that task, Micro olunteering simply is not sustainable. We believe a proactive volunteer model like the one we foster at Volunteero is necessary. We allow these microvolunteering tasks, or what we call missions, to be created in seconds. These can then be published only to the relevant groups of volunteers and then volunteers can use our app to find and claim missions that best suit them. Here is how Josie who is a volunteer coordinator at VODA North Tyneside explains “I put a mission on and while normally I would be contacting loads of volunteers, now I move on to the next mission and check every now and then if a volunteer has requested to join the mission”

Digitalisation will also aid in risk management. Charities need to have a clearer picture or what volunteers are doing and procedures and processes around allowing only qualified volunteers to conduct certain tasks. This is another area where Volunteero can help. We are able to track all volunteering activity in realtime and using our groups feature among others, charities can present tasks to only certain groups of volunteers.

Want to volunteer but don't know where to get started? Download our app for volunteering today and find a range of volunteering opportunities near you!

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