Get off your big, fat (hairy)…..fence, and do something!
Picture this. You’re sitting on a fence wiling away your time, busy doing nothing. According to recent research conducted by vInspired, that’s what 29% of you are doing right now – you’re known as ‘fencesitters’. The other 71% have already got off their big, fat (hairy)….fence and know something that you don’t:
- that volunteering can be fun
- it can provide you with a sense of self worth, self esteem, and self confidence
- it can put smiles onto other people faces
- it can help you ‘get on’ in life
But hey, you’re still sitting on that fence, still busily doing nothing. But what if I told you that in the space of the next 30 minutes you could have:
- contributed to finding a cure for many diseases
- fed starving children for free
- discovered galaxies for science
- transcribed ancient papyri
- played games to plant real world trees
Welcome to the world of microvolunteering – bite-sized actions that are fun, easy, involve no commitment, and can be completed in under 30 minutes, ‘on the go, on demand and on your own terms’. A far cry from traditional volunteering then. That’s why microvolunteering is creating such a ‘buzz’ in the voluntary sector, as it’s breaking down the barriers to fencesitters like you that come up with excuses not to volunteer.
So, what on earth would make that fence smaller for you to jump off and dip your toes into the world of microvolunteering. Here’s some of it’s attractions:
- it could help you with personal development skills
- it could look good as work experience on your CV
- you could gain a vInspired award via their own microvolunteering category
- the actions come to you, not the other way around
- there’s nothing illegal or dangerous about it
- there’s no training or CRB checks
- it’s all inclusive, meaning the housebound, disabled or mobility impaired can participate
- you’re not confined to just local causes, it has a global reach
- you can use your pc, smartphone or tablet
- it can be completed in under 30 minutes: finished, nada, completo
- each action’s instructions are simple, 1…2….3….Go!
Maybe you’re thinking ‘yeah right, but my interest/cause won’t be represented’. Wrong! If searching for Genghis Khan’s tomb, mind over matter experiments or understanding whale song are included, then why not yours? And I haven’t even mentioned the causes you can benefit just by blogging, tweeting, listening to music, playing games (actually, I think I’ve already mentioned that one before), writing letters, e-mentoring, translating, proofreading, advocating, watching webcams, citizen science projects etc – all achievable under that magic 30 minute mark.
But maybe you’re now thinking, ‘surely my puny 30 minutes worth of microvolunteering is not going to achieve impact’. Wrong again!. Check out this report into the impact that microvolunteering initiatives are creating. You’ll be amazed what you and other microvolunteers are achieving.
Ooh, did I just imply you were a microvolunteer? Well, perhaps I did, as what excuses have you now got to NOT volunteer? That fence has been lowered so much that you must be just squatting on it, rather than sitting.
Squatting’s not comfortable, nor is the knowledge of knowing that you could be so easily benefitting worthy causes with just a few simple mouse clicks – and you’re still not doing it? So get off that big, fat (hairy)….fence and do something – for yourself, but most importantly for others. All it takes is a few spare minutes and in an average UK life span, you’ve only got 42,310,800 to choose from!
This article was requested by vInspired back in July, 2012 to compliment some research they had undertaken into Volunteer Typologies. They discovered 5 different types, amongst which were ‘Fencesitters’ – ‘the least interested in taking action, tend to be very ambivalent in their attitudes’. The remit behind the article was to encourage activism and in the context of microvolunteering, to show how easy it was to get involved, so that ‘fence sitters’ no longer had a reason to sit on that fence. As far as we know, the article was never published by vInpsired!