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Microvolunteering – Evidence of Impact?

Microvolunteering - ImpactThere has been some concern of late (as of May 2011) about the impact that microvolunteering is achieving. Whilst I claim to be no expert in this field, I’ll try to impart what I know about the subject in the hopes it will generate constructive feedback. This article is based on the implementation of microvolunteering that Help From Home promotes, but touches briefly on other types of microvolunteering that other initiatives promote.

Impact – What’s Acceptable and What Isn’t?

First, it needs to be established as to what definition of impact would be accepted by people in the voluntary sector. The field of microvolunteering will not produce stats of how many yards of river bank have been cleared, how many senior citizens were taken out for the day or how many visually impaired people were ferried from A to B by volunteers. Instead, it will produce data on how many free to use photos have been taken by the public for charities to use in their PR material, how many smiles have been put on very ill children to uplift their spirits, how many public domain books have been converted into ebooks for future generations to read etc etc.

All of the examples above arguably have a ‘do good’ element to them and therefore by association result in a ‘do good’ impact. Facebook and Twitter are changing our mindset as to how we can communicate with each other, so too microvolunteering is changing the way we volunteer and therefore what is considered as impact from ‘do good’ actions.

So for example, for number of hot teas served to the homeless, re-read as number of mouses clicked to raise money via click-to-donate sites to pay for said hot teas. For amount of money donated via street collections to cancer research firms, re-read as number of spare computer processing hours that volunteers have donated via their home pcs to finding a cure for cancer. For number of…… well, I won’t carry on, but you get the picture. Perhaps it could be said that maybe a mindset change is needed here to embrace this alternative type of impact.

Quantifiable Evidence

The type of impact that some of the organisations are achieving with their microvolunteering actions are featured below. The figures have been reproduced in good faith from the organisations’ websites and no attempt has been made to verify the figures. They represent only a very, very small sample of initiatives, but if you scroll down to the ‘Appendix’ at the bottom of this article, I’ve provided a much more, and I mean a much more comprehensive list of just under 150 other microvolunteering initiatives achieving impact – I urge you to take a look, I really do!!

Organisation Time Period Impact
Kibblekat (online charity donating quiz) Up to May 2011 Donated 370,541,380 pieces or 370 tons of kibble (cat and dog food to animal shelters)
Everyclick (charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 £1,797,548  raised for charity
Hunger Site (click-to-donate) June 1999 to October 2010 328 million visitors clicked to give 25,000 metric tons of food or 447 million cups of food
Folding@Home (volunteer your spare pc power) Up to March 2011 464,000 active machines, received computational results from over 6.07 million devices, 78 peer reviewed scientific research papers published
Project Linus (creating handmade blankets and afghans) Up to March 2011 3,800,296 handmade items delivered to good causes
The Petition Site (petition portal) Up to May 2011 70,041 petitions created with 66,302,714 signatures added via 15,803,126 members.
Distributed Proofreaders (converting public domain books into e-books) Up to May 2011 20,180 books converted
CO2Saver (energy saving software) Up to May 2011 1,595,228 pounds of emission/greenhouse gases saved from being released into the atmosphere
StopGlobalWarming (virtual march to demand leaders freeze and reduce CO2 emissions) Upto May 2011 1,406,570 participants

Some of the figures above do not demonstrate impact, but instead have been provided to show how many people are participating in a micro-action to bring about the impact the initiative is attempting to achieve. These micro-actions may never achieve their objectives, but it does nevertheless demonstrate that there appears to be a willingness from Joe and Jane Public to strive for change and that in itself will have an impact on a persons’ / communities’ lives as they band together to form a cohesive unit.

Some of the actions have also been disputed by others as to whether they are indeed microvolunteering actions or just some gimmick to get cheap PR by a for-profit firm. I include them in the table, as the micro-action (one which can be performed wholly or in multiple sessions of under 30 minutes) is enabling a person to perform an action that directly or indirectly benefits others (excluding relatives) for which that person is not being paid, but willingly wishes to participate in it to achieve some ‘good’ – a description of volunteering strikingly similar to those supplied by United Nations or Volunteering England for instance (which can be found here).

All of the initiatives featured in the above table have been cherrypicked to demonstrate impact of a philanthropic nature, but as you’ll see from the other initiatives featured in the ‘Appendix’ below, they are by no means (and I mean by no means) isolated instances of impact. They all arguably benefit a ‘do good’ worthy cause, and being such a subjective issue in of itself, I believe there is enough variety in the type of actions to satisfy all tastes or dissentions as to whether they do good or not.

The above figures seem to pack quite a punch, as indeed do the ones featured in the ‘Appendix’. They arguably demonstrate that there must be a huge quantity of people out there participating in these micro-actions for these figures to be as high as they are. They also arguably demonstrate that crowdsourcing thousands of people to perform a very tiny action that in of itself would seem as though it is not contributing anything worthwhile, would appear to be unfounded.

Indeed, in light of the substantial size of these impact figures, I’m not sure that some of the initiatives / organisations featured in this table would appreciate the fact that they are promoting something that others call ‘slactivism’, particularly as that term implies a degree of laziness, which on appearances of the impact figures is anything but lazy, considering the amount of money raised, items donated, craftwork created or collective hours spent to achieve a certain goal that benefits a nonprofit / charity / worthy cause.

As a side issue, if any organisation that operates a microvolunteering action wishes to share the impact they are making, then please contact me at the Help From Home Contact Us webpage and I’ll add you to the list of organisations strutting their stuff in terms of impact!

Other Types of Impact

In order to provide a balanced view of the subject, there are areas within the microvolunteering arena where there is simply not enough data to demonstrate that microvolunteering has had any impact or not. They are crying out for more research from organisations that have the funding and resources to deal with such studies. Here’s a few examples:

- Help From Home has provided information on which beneficial stimuli (eg decision making, hand / eye co-ordination, cognitive skills etc) a senior citizen would benefit from, if they participated in a microvolunteering action. Although, it can be summized that senior citizens probably would benefit from the actions if they participated in them, there are no meaningful stats to date on how many senior citizens have actually benefitted from this ‘beneficial stimuli’ data.

- The same could be said for the Teacher Education Pack that Help From Home has produced. It highlights those areas of the UK National Curriculum where students could benefit from the following modules: Citizenship, ICT, English and Geography. Again, there are no meaningful stats on the impact this is having, although it has to be said that the Education Pack has just been published.

- Looking at microvolunteering from a different angle, it could be perceived that it is having an impact on those people who couldn’t necessarily participate in traditional volunteering. I’m talking here of the disabled, visually impaired, the housebound etc, etc. For those people who perhaps fall into these brackets and who have a disposition to be a responsible citizen but can’t readily participate in traditional volunteering activities, microvolunteering would appear to be a godsend to them. Participating in such micro-actions would seemingly appear to impact a sense of self worth and self esteem into their lives. However, where’s the quantifiable evidence for this? To my knowledge, no meaningful research has yet been carried out into this area.

- Another organisation called Skills For Change (and powered by Sparked) promotes a different implementation of microvolunteering to that which Help From Home promotes, one that is more geared to using volunteer professional expertise to assist non profits. Not being on their ‘books’, I’m therefore not party to their performance. However, I’m lead to believe that over 2,000 nonprofits and over 15,000 microvolunteers have signed up to Sparked and a cursory look at the quantity of ‘challenges’ being answered (requests for help which currently number just over 3,000 as of mid May 2011) would appear to show a healthy dose of activity, although it’s impossible for me to comment on the actual quality of those ‘challenges’ being answered. Sparked claimed back in February 2011, (if my memory serves me correctly) that between 10 – 20 non profits were signing up to them every week, and certainly judging by the ‘buzz’ created around Sparked in Twittershpere and elsewhere, it would seem on outward appearances that Sparked, with their version of microvolunteering, appear to be creating impact, albeit unquantifiable. For Sparked’s view on the impact of microvolunteering, click here.

- Another microvolunteering website called Microvoluntarios (now defunct) offers similar types of microvolunteering actions to that of Sparked and has been doing so for the past 3 years! Their actions, like Sparked, are registered by nonprofits and require volunteers to perform actions that are strikingly similar in nature to those of Sparked. Incidentally, they may have been the originator of the term microvolunteering when they registered the Spanish version of the word in November, 2006, whilst also appearing to be the first microvolunteering initiative to hit the web, back in April, 2008. Although, I have been unable to glean any quantifiable data from them (they’re a Spanish website and yo no hablo espanol), they currently have over 5,850 volunteers and just under 550 nonprofits registered with them. Like Sparked, they appear to show a healthy dose of activity, although again it’s impossible to comment on the quality of the volunteering actions being performed. However, they’ve been in existence for over 3 years and that would seemingly paint a picture that the impact they are creating for Spanish nonprofits would appear to be quite constructive and therefore useful.

From Micro To Macro

For some time now, there have been questions raised as to what evidence there is that microvolunteering is used as a stepping stone into traditional volunteering, ie. is microvolunteering swelling the numbers of people participating in traditional volunteering and therefore having an impact on the overall quantity of people volunteering in general?

The only survey that I’m aware of which raised this issue, is one which Help From Home conducted back in March, 2010. Despite the disappointing response to this survey, it did show promising signs that people did actually move on in to traditional volunteering activities.

I’m in a prime position to further this research and to this end, I’m prepared to put a survey up on Help From Home’s website to discover perhaps the reasons why people microvolunteer and whether they migrate to traditional volunteering. I can think of a few other questions, but if anybody wants to pass on their own questions, I’ll try and include them in the survey.

Despite this offer, I would still question as to why there is a need to know whether there is spill-over from micro to traditional. Why can’t microvolunteering just stand on it’s own two feet and not be considered as a means to an end? Conversely why is nobody asking what the spill-over is from traditional to microvolunteering?

Conclusion

In closing then, there’s plenty of evidence to demonstrate that microvolunteering initiatives appear to be achieving impact – you only have to look in te Appendix below to see that in ample supply. However, the figures in the table are just figures and what is required is a more indepth study into what lies behind those figures. What is also lacking in research terms are quantifiable demographics on the actual microvolunteer themselves, in the who, what, why, how and where departments. Maybe the survey on the Help From Home website, as mentioned above, might go some way to resolving this. Or maybe some other organisation like IVR (Institute for Volunteering Research) might want to help out, as a cursory glance over their website reveals no data at all on microvolunteering! Hint, hint!

Appendix

Below, is a more comprehensive list of inititives that either include or are wholly designed to function as a microvolunteer action.

The figures below have been reproduced in good faith from the organisations’ websites and no attempt has been made to verify them. There are many, many other microvolunteering initiatives out there that did not display their impact figures, perhaps because they either chose not to to do so or it’s difficult to quantify their impact. However, they are nevertheless seemingly creating impact. I have neither the time, funding or resources (although I have the inclination) to contact these initiatives to seek out information from them and perhaps this is best left to an organisation that has more experience than me in research matters.

Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Do Good’ Actions
Kibblekat (online charity donating quiz) Up to May 2011 Donated 370,541,380 pieces or 370 tons of kibble (cat and dog food to animal shelters)
Everyclick (charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 £1,801,667 raised for charity
LookPink (charity donating search engine, game playing) Up to May 2011 $29,594.71 raised for breast cancer research
SearchKindly (charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 Over $13,000, raised to build mobile libraries for underserved schools
NeoAid (charity donating search engine + online video watching) Up to May 2011 $8,971.20 raised for worthy causes
ClickNow (charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 Over £100,000 raised for over 200 charities
Helpuu (charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 11,824 starving children have received an extra day of food
iGive (charity donating search engine + shopping portal) Up to May 2011 $5,454,343 donated to 52,405 causes by 698,176 participants
Hunger Site (charity donating search engine + click-to-donate) June 1999 to October 2010 328 million visitors clicked to give 25,000 metric tons of food or 447 million cups of food
I Fight Cancer (click to donate) Upto Dec 2010 $2,718 raised for cancer research
Social Vibe (generate charity donating ad revenue) Up to May 2011 Over $700,000 raised for 59 charities
Squidoo (article writing) Up to May 2011 Over $500,000 raised for loads of charities around the world
JackTheDonkey (surfing the net) Up to May 2011 $9,386 raised for charities
FreeRice (charity donating game play) Between September 2007 to May 2011 90,994,566,240 grains of rice donated to hungry people
FreePoverty (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 282,607,625 cups of water donated to people in poverty
Aid To Children (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 $6638 raised for under privileged children
Experience Project, Save Dogs + Cats (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 Over 1 ton of food raised for the Humane Society of the United States
Click for a Change (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 £735 raised for Sense, a charity for deaf blind people
Click To Aid (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 $167,211 raised for needy causes in Singapore
Give Vaccines (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 1,813,601 monetary units donated, where each monetary unit is equivalent to 0.01ml of life saving vaccine
World Clickathon (charity donating game playing) Upto May 2011 $197 raised for the Boys and Girls Club of America
Fix The Web (reporting web accessibility issues) Upto May 2011 45 websites fixed, 284 reports in progress, 647 websites reported
English Out There (mentoring students in English language) Upto May 2011 54 people helping out via Skype / Facebook
iT4C (virtual volunteering assistance for charities) Between 2002 and Jan 2010 Delivered £4million of IT support to charities
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Do Good’ Actions
Sparked (microvolunteering portal) Upto May 2011 2963 ‘challenges’ (questions by charities) posted. Most get answered
Access Advisr (reporting accessibility issues) Upto May 2011 6 reports made
Nabuur (virtual assistance for 3rd world community projects) Upto May 2011 38053 Neighbours, 293 Villages, 18 groups, 4314 ways you can help
Seti@home (distributed computing for alien life) Upto May 2011 5.2 million participants donated 2 million years of aggregate computing time
Folding@Home (distributed computing to investigate protein folding) Up to March 2011 464,000 active machines, received computational results from over 6.07 million devices
World Community Project (distributed computing to help cure cancer, muscular dystrophy etc) Upto May 2011 555,544 participants donated 466,242 years of computing time
Africa@home (distributed computing mapping spread of malaria) Upto May 2011 50,918 participants donated 33,630 years of computing time
Stop World Hunger (toolbar download) Upto May 2011 120,121 meals donated to hungry children
Project Linus (creating handmade blankets and afghans) Up to March 2011 3,800,296 handmade items delivered to good causes
Luba’s Blankets (donating knitted squares) Up to December 2010 4,027 squares donated; 376 scarves donated; 159 blankets donated; 1339 hats donated
Project Linus UK (creating handmade blankets and afghans) Upto May 2011 135,543 quilts donated to good causes
Quilts4Leukaemia (handcrafting quilts for cancer sufferers) Upto March 2011 35 quilts donated
LoveQuiltsUK (handcrafting quilts for sick children) Upto May 2011 64 quilts donated
AIDS Memorial Quilt (handcrafting panels to make a huge quilt) Upto May 2011 Over $4million raised for people with AIDS. Quilt size, 1,293,000 square feet. 91,000 names on quilt.
Knit-a-square (knitting squares for charity) Upto May 2011 170,000 squares knitted, representing over 7,000 blankets and over 11,000 garments for AIDS orphans in South Africa
CureCaps (knitting hats to be sold) Upto May 2011 Over 3,000 hats knitted to be sold to fund a brain research project
Head Huggers (knitting hats for medical hair loss patients) Upto May 2011 Average 50 chemo caps donated every week
Bonnie Babies (handcrafting premature baby items) 2003 - 2010 268,526 items donated to hospitals
Stitches From The Heart (handcrafting premature baby items) 2008 – 2011 12,000+ items knitted and donated to over 1,088 hospitals and charities
Wiggly Bags (handcrafting bags for Hickman Lines) May 2011 26 children using donated bags
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Do Good’ Actions
Knit4Charities (handcrafting warm clothing) Upto May 2011 83,405 items handcrafted and donated to people or animals in need
Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy (knitting items for homeless, prem babies, animal refuges) Upto December 2010 Over 65,000 hand knitted items donated
Mother Bear Project (handcrafting bears that bring hope to AIDS children) Upto May 2011 64,050 bears sent to children affected by HIV / AIDS
Needy Stitches (handcrafting items for needy people) Upto May 2011 54,522 handcrafted and donated to needy people
Woolies4Waggers (handcrafting dog coats that raise money) Upto November 2011 £545 raised for Dogs Trust
Angels for Hope (crocheting angels for anyone in need of hope) 2010 85,571 items donated in 2010
Snuggles Project (handcrafting snuggles for homeless animals) Upto May 2011 Over 500,000 snuggles donated and sent to animal shelters around the world
Teddies for Tragedies (knitting teddy bears to bring a smile to a child’s face) 1985 – 2011 ‘Hundreds of thousands teddies have been knitted and given to charities)
Threads of Compassion (knitting scarves of comfort to victims of rape) Upto Jan 2011 Donates scarves to rape crisis centres
GalaxyZoo (armchair astronomy) Upto May 2011 Over 60,000 galaxy classifications recorded
They Work For You (timestamping parliament speeches) Upto May 2011 139,398 videos parliament speeches matched with text
GalaxyZoo Supernovae (spotting supernovae) Upto May 2011 1517 supernovae candidates highlighted for further investigation
MoonZoo (providing detailed visual examination of moon’s surface) Upto May 2011 2,102,981 images visually categorised
Globe at Night (measuring light pollution) Upto May 2011 13,759 data measurements points recorded around the world
Field Expedition Mongolia (search for Genghis Khan’s tomb) Upto May 2011 9,182 people have processed 621,178 image tiles with visual data
Old Weather (analysing ship’s old log books for weather prediction clues) Upto May 2011 472,504 log books pages from 102 ships transcribed
Opinion World (charity donating surveys) Upto May 2011 £1,147,540 raised for charity organisations across the globe
FreeBMD (transcribing genealogical records) Upto April 2011 200,297,431 distinct records (254,805,469 total records) transcribed
Kiva (microloans to 3rd world entrepreneurs) Upto May 2011 581,972 people have lent $212,153,225 to 551,661 entrepreneurs
Shared Interest (microloans to fair trade entrepreneurs) Upto May 2011 Lends over £33million to people in 36 countries
Lend4Health (microloans to people with autism and related issues) Upto May 2011 $67,452 in loans lent to 96 people
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Do Good’ Actions
Babyloan (microloans to micro-entrepreneurs to improve living) Upto May 2011 10,233 people (or babayloanians) lent €1,757,784 to 5,570 entrepreneurs
Vittana (microloans to students in the developing world) Upto May 2011 $664,715 has been microloaned by 5,560 people via 9,903 loans
Wokai (microloans to end poverty in China) Upto May 2011 $345,306 microloaned by 6,914 people from 58 countries
Lend With Care (microloans to help people transform their lives in developing countries) Upto May 2011 278 people fully funded, 30 people partly funded
Social Psychology Studies (social study questionaires) 1999 – 2011 Site hosts average 230 surveys. Site has had 53,572,119 page views all potentially contributing to social science study
Face Research (Questionaire studies on faces) 2007 – 2011 459,979 visitors to site all potentially contributing to research into faces
Rupert Sheldrake Online Experiment Portal (online research into anomalous issues) 2003 – 2005 343 pairs of people gave 6,860 trial result data
PhotoFoundation (publicly sourced photos by smartphone) Upto May 2011 158,184 images taken by smartphone users for free use by nonprofits
DoGood (mobile app that sends out do good actions) 2009 – 2010 Over 70,000 users participating in over 430,000 DoGood actions
Mappiness (mobile app tracking impact of people’s wellbeing for research) Upto May 2011 41,297 participants contributing data to project that attempts to make the world happier
Boskoi (mobile app tracking wild edible food for others to harvest) Upto May 2011 310 reports made. Average number of reports per day = 0.85
Related Ways To Take Action (WordPress plugin to enable people to take action) Upto May 2011 28,804 downloads all potentially geared towards taking action)
Panda Pages (spreading awareness of WWF through free personalised web pages) Upto May 2011 Over 3,000 pages created that raise money or spread awareness of World Wildlife Fund
Hug It Forward (spreading charity donating hugs) Upto May 2011 $1,731 raised for ‘bottle schools’ in Guatemala, simply by hugging someone
Flickr: Free Use Photos (publicly sourced photos for anyone to use) Upto May 2011 1,798 photos taken by members of public
Why Not NonProfit Ideas (publicly submitted ideas to change the world for the better) Upto May 2011 69 ideas submitted that potentially could lead to a better world
Global Ideas Bank (publicly submitted ideas to change the world for the better) Upto May 2011 6,184 ideas submitted that potentially could lead to a better world
UnLtd Ideas Bank (publicly submitted ideas to change the world for the better) Upto May 2011 155 ideas submitted that potentially could lead to a better world
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Do Good’ Actions
America: The Making of a Nation (charity donating votes) Upto May 2011 52,810 votes cast, 5,281 books donated to kids
Forvo (user submitted word pronounciations) Upto May 2011 947,272 words, 991,042 pronunciations, 268 languages all helping people to speak proper
Horesesmouth (online life issue mentoring) Upto May 2011 9,769 people mentoring others online about life issues
MicroMentor (online business mentoring) Upto May 2011 2,856 mentoring relationships established resulting in 75% in annual business increase sales
SACC (writing humanitarian letters to prisoners of terroism) As of May 2011 16 prisoners to write to, to keep their spirits up.
Postpals (writing letters to sick children) As of May 2011 56 sick children receiving uplifting letters
Love Letters (random cards of kindness to sick children) Upto May 2011 Over 70,500 homemade cards created for sick children
Drop A Love Bomb (sending uplifting blog entries to people going through a hard time) Upto May 2011 Thousands of people willing to send an uplifting a message to people going through a hard time
Wiki Crimes (publicly submitted crime data) Upto May 2011 58,531 crimes reported that bring greater transparency to dangerous areas in the world
Rosetta Project (scan in antique chidrens books) Upto May 2011 ‘Tens of thousands of beautifully illustrated pages’ from childrens books scanned in for the benefit of children around the world
Distributed Proofreaders (distributed proofreading of books) Upto May 2011 20,207 public domain books proofread and converted to ebooks for future generations to read
Distributed Proofreaders Europe (distributed proofreading of books) Upto May 2011 771 public domain books proofread and converted to ebooks for future generations to read
Distributed Proofreaders Canada (distributed proofreading of books) Upto May 2011 581 public domain books proofread and converted to ebooks for future generations to read
Distributed Proofreaders GaGa (distributed proofreading of books) Upto May 2011 2,016 public domain German books proofread and converted to ebooks for future generations to read
Project Madurai (distributed proofreading of books) Upto May 2011 Over 240 public domain Tamil books proofread and converted to ebooks for future generations to read
Librivox (converting public domain books to audio books) Upto May 2011 3,882 public domain books converted to audio books for future generations to enjoy
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Green’ Actions
Ecology Fund (click to donate and adverts in email) Upto May 2011 93.9 sq miles saved and protected
ClickGreen (charity donating adverts in emails) Upto May 2011 18,247 trees to be planted in Victoria, Australia to fight climate change
CO2Saver (energy saving software) Up to May 2011 1,595,228 pounds of emission/greenhouse gases saved from being released into the atmosphere
Answer4Earth (charity donating game playing) Up to May 2011 539 trees planted via donations generated through advertising revenue from website
Treewala (charity donating game playing) Up to May 2011 20,647 trees planted to reforest rainforests
Open Green Map (publicly submitted ‘green’ local community data) Up to May 2011 16,458 user generated sites providing ‘green’ info to make world more sustainable
350 Challenge (blog badge to offset carbon emissions) Up to May 2011 Over 3,900 bloggers inserted badge equates to 1,365,000 lbs of carbon offset
Fruit City (publicly submitted data on fruit tree locations in London) Up to May 2011 Over 100 locations posted
Eco-Safe (website badge promoting greener printing alternatives) Up to May 2011 42,680,427 Merit Badge interactions helping to reduce number of unnecessary web pages being printed off
Blackle (energy saving search engine) Up to May 2011 2,478,766 Watt hours saved
Ecocho (environmental charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 7,760 trees planted equivalent to 3,880,321 kilos of CO2 offset
The Environment Site (click to donate and environmental charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 £5850 raised for Surrey Wildlife Trust
Ecosia (environmental charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 £193,359 donated to saving the rainforest projects
The Eco Key (environmental charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 4,240,345 sqft of land cleaned of litter through search engine advertising revenue)
Treehoo (environmental charity donating search engine) Up to May 2011 ‘More than 100,000 tees planted’ via contributions made partly by search engine
ClimatePrediction (distributed computing to predict climate) Upto May 2011 51,105 participants donated 123,555,663 years of computing time
Hydrogen@Home (distributed computing into sustainable energy research) Upto May 2011 3,225 people contributing to research into sustainable energy
Ancient Tree Hunt (publicly submitted old tree data) Upto May 2011 66,257 trees verified to protect
SpringAlive (bird sightings to track bird migrations) Upto May 2011 22,543 sightings by members of public
Big Garden Birdwatch (publicly submitted garden bird sightings) Upto May 2011 Over 600,000 participants contributed data to the survey
Project Squirrel (publicly submitted data on squirrel habits) 1997 to 2011 Over 1,000 people participants contributing observations from their own garden
Organisation Time Period Impact
‘Green’ Actions
Great Backyard Bird Count (publicly submitted data on bird sightings from people’s backyard) Upto May 2011 Total Individual Birds Counted: 11,471,951. Total Species Observed: 596 by 92,218 people.
Add an Adder (publicly submitted data on adder sightings) Upto May 2011 1,381 registered recording 4,066 accounts of adders
Snail Search (publicly submitted data on ‘alien’ snails that contributes to climate change data) Upto May 2011 988 snail reports received, with 94 confirmed ‘alien’ snail sightings
Herberia@home (public documentation of herbarium sheets) Upto May 2011 82,847 herbarium specimens have been documented, adding to climate changeor conservation data
Morsbags (making reusable cloth bags from junk) Upto May 2011 91,035 bags made or potentially 45,517,500 fewer plastic bags used, so protecting the environment
Why Not NonProfit Ideas (publicly submitted ideas to change the world for the better) Upto May 2011 314 ideas submitted within the ‘Environment’ category
Read It, Swap It (book swapping/recycling that prevents books from being binned) Upto May 2011 363,978 books available to swap / prevent from being binned
Books Through Bars (recycling books to prisons) Upto May 2011 Has contributed to the provision of 8,000 books to self educating prisoners
Prison Book Project (recycling books to prisons) Upto May 2011 Contributes to the provision of 30 – 40 weekly book packages to self educating prisoners
Prison Pen Pals (recycling books to prisons) Upto May 2011 Has contributed to the provision of 12,000 books to self educating prisoners
Recycling CDs (donating CDs & DVDs to prevent them from being binned) Upto May 2011 1,452,438 CDs & DVDs donated & recycled that helps save the planet
shpcharity (donating mobiles to raise money for charity) Upto May 2011 Over £2million raised for charities
Earth Day (pledging acts of green) Upto May 2011 149,392,415 ‘green’ pledges of action
Organisation Time Period Impact
Advocacy Actions
StopGlobalWarming (virtual march to demand leaders freeze and reduce CO2 emissions) Upto May 2011 1,406,570 participants
New American Dream (various ‘green’ petitions available) As of May 2011 3 petitions available with over 14,200 signatures between them
Whales Revenge (stop whaling petition) Upto May 2011 1,115,307 signatures added to petition
Change (petition portal) Upto May 2011 Over a million people and hundreds of petitions actively righting wrongs
Experience Project (petition portal) Upto May 2011 Hundreds of petitions actively righting wrongs
38 Degrees (actions that bring about change) Upto May 2011 2,950,270 actions taken on issues that could bring about change
EveryMinute (declaration to stop suicide) Upto May 2011 1,763 people signed the declaration
The Petition Site (petition portal) Up to May 2011 70,041 petitions created with 66,302,714 signatures added via 15,803,126 members.
PetitionOnline (petition portal) Up to May 2011 ‘More than 91 million signatures collected – tens of thousands of active petitions’
R-word (pledge to omit the r-word from the english language – see website for what the r-word is) Up to May 2011 209,864 pledges made to omit the r-word
JAMOP (declaration of peace) Up to May 2011 1,059 signatures by people united for peace

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