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How to Engage People in Microvolunteering

If you're thinking about dipping your toes in to the microvolunteering arena, then the following pointers may be helpful for you to begin exploring how the microvolunteering concept could help to engage people in philanthropic community engagement.

Things you'll need

  • Enthusiasm and determination
  • Desire to tap into the microvolunteering 'buzz'
  • Lateral thinking


  • Definition: ‘easy, quick, low commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause
  • Timespans: 1 minute (Help From Home) upto 4 hours (Brightworks) - What impact is being created: refer to this document
  • Types of actions promoted by different initiatives:
  • designing logos
  • assisting research scientists
  • dispensing wisdom or knowledge
  • craftwork
  • ementoring
  • psychology questionaires
  • writing to sick children
  • help to cure diseases
  • play games to raise money for free

Microvolunteering Logistics

Advantages over traditional volunteering

  • no longer tied to a certain place and time
  • you control the time and environment to volunteer
  • on the go, on demand and on a person's own terms
  • fits within people's time starved lives
  • no CRB checks
  • minimal training
  • no or low commitment
  • you can wear what you like: no flourescent jackets, just pyjamas or your birthday suit!
  • not confined to helping a local charity, but could be microvolunteering for initiatives globally


Various sectors of society which can participate

  • people at home
  • people at work
  • people on the bus, tube, taxi, doctors waiting room
  • senior citizens
  • disabled people
  • students in school / college / university
  • youth under the age of 14


Various organisations which can particpate

  • employee volunteer schemes
  • high street volunteer centres
  • volunteering websites
  • charities / nonprofits / voluntary organisations
  • County Councils
  • educational establishments
  • youth clubs
  • faith based groups


What can it help

  • digital inclusion projects
  • inter-generational projects
  • youth club activities
  • care home activity sessions
  • employee volunteering programmes
  • volunteer managers looking for alternatives actions to traditional volunteering
  • charities looking to tap into a new pool of volunteers to either benefit the charity itself or the cause it serves
  • disabled causes looking for new ways to engage disabled people to help disabled people
  • unemployed people to gain work based skills from home

Things to consider when creating a method to enable people to microvolunteer via a group / club / organisation

  • participation in online or offline actions or a mixture of both
  • time span available to microvolunteer
  • participation in skilled or non-skilled actions or a mixture of both
  • what skills / expertise should the actions be focussed around
  • what feedback, if any, is required on an action being completed
  • are impact measurement stats required
  • will people be microvolunteering as a group or individuals (microvolunteering tends to be individual based)
  • is there a need for people to demonstrate that it's helped develop personal development skills
  • if micro-actions are being created, then what time scale is required to implement them
  • if micro-actions are being created, are volunteers being specifically pooled from clients or can it be opened up to the general public
  • will the actions benefit nonprofits themselves or the causes they serve
  • are the actions going to be newly created ones or ones that have already been created by 3rd party initiatives

Mass Community Engagement

So, how can mass engagement via microvolunteering be enabled? These pointers are for a more general scope of things, but nevertheless may provide inspiration for projects as to what avenues could be explored to engage people into microvolunteering

  • volunteer centres could make their 'customers' more aware of flexible / microvolunteering actions
  • volunteer centres, where relevant, could provide microvolunteering action suggestions as part of their employee volunteering service
  • firms and businesses could embrace microvolunteering within their employee volunteering scheme
  • charities / nonprofits could tap into the buzz that surrounds microvolunteering and either relabel some of their actions or create new ones
  • more voluntary orgs could embrace the microvolunteering concept by promoting the various dedicated microvolunteering platforms
  • youth clubs and charity aligned groups like Rotaract could hold microvolunteering meetups on an ad hoc basis
  • educators could include microvolunteering within a citizenship course, where students could actually volunteer on demand without leaving the classroom
  • civic engagement projects could embrace the microvolunteering concept
  • funding bodies could be made more aware of the microvolunteering concept, which in turn could lead to more openess to fund microvolunteering based projects
  • could a town or city promote itself as the 'Microvolunteering Capital of the World'
  • use National Awareness Days, like World Cancer Day to focus people's attention on specific worthy causes via microvolunteering actions
  • could newspapers have a 'Microvolunteering Corner' that showcases actions that are so easy to do for their readers
  • could celebs dress up in their pyjamas to show how easy it is to benefit a worthy cause

Further information


Page last edited Sep 03, 2018 History

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