Microvolunteering is a form of donating time that you can do at your own pace in the comfort of your own home. In other words, there are many small ways in which you can make a difference and help change the world from where you’re sitting right now. Microvolunteering isn’t for everyone — it may not feel like enough to some people, or it might be too much for others. But don’t let that deter you from trying something new and contributing as best as you can!
Micro-volunteering can be defined as volunteers willing to give up a few hours of their time here and there to do a small task, such as editing Wikipedia or updating government records. Micro volunteering increases the number of people who can engage in volunteer work while solving problems at the same time.
Microvolunteering is volunteering in small, bite-sized chunks during short periods of time. It is considered “micro” because the volunteer does not have to commit a significant amount of time to make an impact.
Advantages of Micro-Volunteering?
One of the advantages of micro-volunteering compared to more traditional volunteering is that it can be done from the comfort of your own home. Where traditional volunteering involves going to a park or working with children, microvolunteering can be done as a way of filling in time while relaxing.
It can be done at your own schedule. You do not have to commit a significant amount of time to make a difference, which appeals to those who cannot commit large amounts of time and those who are unwilling to do so. The amount you give back is up to your time availability and schedule.
A more subtle advantage is that when you start micro-volunteering, it can show how you are willing to go an extra step to help your cause. Even if it’s for a few minutes, you show that you care, and that is what draws people in.
Microvolunteering usually does not have lengthy application processes or training periods. That can be a benefit because it’s (unfortunately) common that volunteers only volunteer a little and then decide that it is not something they are that interested in doing. They will not continue volunteering for your organization. If they are micro volunteers, you can at least take comfort in knowing that you didn’t invest too much time and energy for the volunteer, and you won’t have to go through a long process to replace him.
Microvolunteering can be a great way to build relationships with other people you may not have met offline.
It gives an option for those who cannot volunteer in person due to location or physical ability.
Allows you to donate your time with ease. No more hassle with complicated application processes and paperwork.
Allows you to volunteer in locations where volunteering for a specific cause is difficult. If you live in a small town, the possibilities for volunteering for causes that YOU find important may be limited.
The main benefit of microvolunteering is the ability to engage anyone. The only requirements are that a person has a computer, Internet access, and an interest in helping others. People who once would have been unwilling to volunteer now have the opportunity to use their skills, offer advice, and make a difference.
Disadvantages of Microvolunteering?
One of the disadvantages of micro-volunteering is that it may be difficult for volunteers to communicate with one another. In a micro volunteer program, there are not a lot of people, so it is hard to get together to discuss the program on a regular basis.
Another disadvantage is that your volunteers may not be the type of individuals you would like volunteering for your organization. Micro volunteers do not usually have to go through a screening process to volunteer, so there is a possibility that they are not the best type of people to have volunteering for your organization.
A micro volunteer usually doesn’t invest as much time or money as regular volunteers. This is a disadvantage because the micro volunteers might not feel as if their tasks are as important as a regular volunteer’s job, which may lead to them feeling as if they are not as valued, which may lead to an inferior job.
A similar point is that a micro volunteer may not have the same commitment as a regular volunteer. They may give you their best work when they feel like it, not putting their heart into it as much as they would if they were working for a regular organization.
Another disadvantage of micro-volunteering is that there is not much organization that goes into it, so there are people who do not know how to work with micro volunteers, and potential micro volunteers don’t know where to find micro-volunteering opportunities either.
How Does Microvolunteering Help People in Need?
Many microvolunteering tasks are not as hands-on as traditional volunteering. You are not serving soup or handing out food to the homeless but instead designing a website banner for a charity or other similar quick (but important) tasks. So, even if you are not physically standing “on the barricades” of poverty, microvolunteering can still help people in need.
The reasons for this include:
1. “It’s the thought that counts.” The person you are volunteering for doesn’t need your physical presence; what is essential is your hard work and expertise. This is why microvolunteering can be an excellent way to give back and help others without leaving your own home.
2. Increased awareness. Designing a banner or writing an article for a website will increase awareness about the issue you are helping with, which might increase donations and help solve a pressing problem.
3. You can learn about new issues by volunteering online, such as what people living in poverty go through on a daily basis or how certain diseases affect them. You might learn about new tips on making poverty less of a problem or even discovering that you can help in other ways.
Therefore, whether you have your own agenda or are volunteering as part of a homework assignment, you can contribute to the world in one way or another and improve the lives of people around you by making an impact online.
Microvolunteering has been a buzzword in the last couple of years with a huge growth of people’s options to volunteer. People have been talking about it for years, but the difference is that now there are more options, more opportunities, and more resources.
Just a couple of years ago, there was a technical barrier to get involved. Especially for people without technical skills, but now everything you need is available online. It took the research and development of programmers to create the platforms that we are using today. It has only taken the last couple of years to achieve a very satisfactory result. Hey, even my mom can use Zoom, Messenger, and Google Meet (I didn’t think that was possible!)
How Can Charities Use Microvolunteering?
Many charitable organizations prefer microvolunteering for several reasons. Websites and Facebook pages are essential, and yet they can be pretty time-consuming to maintain. With microvolunteers who can work from their own home, charities that are short on money can maintain a good website and do the most basic tasks such as blog writing and website banner design.
If the charity organizations hired someone instead, it would cost a lot of money for minimal differences. Many non-profit organizations do not have the funds to hire full-time employees and cannot afford to spend money on outsourcing tasks.
It increases the percentage of donations that will go directly to the cause, instead of being spent on the company’s overhead, when a micro volunteer is hired to complete a task.
Microvolunteering can do more than just design banners and write articles. It also leads to more donations by increasing awareness. With traditional volunteering, you might only have a few dedicated members who take care of everything.
Examples of Microvolunteering Tasks:
– Design banners or write articles for websites
– Maintain a website or Facebook page with basic tasks such as blog writing and content creation
– Use photos, videos, or graphics to create simple infographics
– Quote or paraphrase ideas from other people in your articles and post them on your Facebook page
– Take photos to post on social media sites
– Make polls on your Facebook page, post the results and keep track of responses.
– Create a survey for members and post the results on your Facebook page or website
– Post a comment on various sites/forums and vote on different information
– Comment on Facebook, Twitter, forums, and keep track.
Social media sites can be the best way of advertising and promoting your work. Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or other available tools online, you can make more impact on people that way.
Is Microvolunteering a Replacement for Traditional Volunteering?
Definitely not! It should be seen as an addition to traditional volunteering. People who previously could not volunteer can now contribute to the world in new ways.
1. People who live far away from an organization can now contribute to the world by microvolunteering.
2. People who are not physically able to do traditional volunteering can still help in new ways, such as promoting and organizing social events or writing short paragraphs about the organization’s activities.
3. People who are not interested in working on a regular basis can still be involved in the charity project by microvolunteering for a limited period of time.
4. People who have different ideas about volunteering can become involved in charities where they are accepted as equals, which may change their opinions.
5. People who have other more important priorities can still work with charities in their spare time or any time of the day they have a moment.
6. People who cannot spend too much time volunteering with one organization can still help by working with several organizations.
In short: Microvolunteering has opened the door to a lot more people and created a lot of new opportunities that never existed before. But traditional volunteering has not been replaced by microvolunteering – it has just become more efficient.
Microvolunteering has created a lot of opportunities for people who otherwise would not have been able to contribute. It is a great way for people to help who have difficulty with traditional volunteering or are not interested in doing it full-time. Microvolunteering can also create more awareness about charities and the world’s problems.