Microvolunteering: Location, Location, Location!
On the 5th December 2011, The United Nations Volunteers issued a report, ‘State of the World’s Volunteerism’, which described microvolunteering as 1 of the 3 fastest growing trends in the global volunteering arena. Such an innovative growth has only been possible because of the pure accessibility of what microvolunteering can offer, with its main benefits being cited as ‘ease, speed of participation and diversity of actions’. (Source: Spring Giving)
These benefits rely on the growth of recent technology and this is what creates so many potential options, places, and ways for so many different types of people to microvolunteer. As a response to the time constraints and pressures of modern day life, technology has grown substantially and so with it have the opportunities for people to do their bit for charitable causes in bite sized and manageable amounts. As free Wi-Fi hotspots are being continually rolled out throughout the country in various public places and cafes, with over 6500 hotspots registered in Britain alone, microvolunteering has never been easier.
By allowing people to commit themselves to microvolunteering in this way, charities have removed the need for an interview process, which is sometimes daunting to volunteers who may also not feel able to sustain regular and sometimes very much formalised volunteering obligations. For example, the concept of distance volunteering means that the security checks expected of some voluntary posts, such as CRB checks, are no longer necessary.
Those who wish to volunteer within prisons, for example, can expect a stringent and extended set of security measures; whereas microvolunteering means that such people can instead help out immediately, with efforts such as the Prison Book Project, which sends books to prisoners to help with their education – and all this without the volunteer ever leaving the comfort of their own home!
Given that many microvolunteering activities can be completed in as little as 15 minutes, people can donate as much or as little time as they have available, from whichever stage they are at either in their life or whatever place in the world. This ‘dip in and out’ nature of the microvolunteering campaign is a testament to its very versatile nature. From the busy professional, to the teenager on the bus, to the old aged pensioner; each now has their own variety of avenues through which they can dedicate their very important and effective time to helping others.
This means that people can support a worthy cause of their choice during those few spare minutes on their lunch break, on their way to school, or even at home in their pyjamas while being safe in the knowledge that their small contributions can help add to a much larger and very much dynamic new form of voluntarism.
First published August 2012
Author: Caroline Dennard – Help From Home Volunteer