Resistance is Futile!
We’ve been promoting microvolunteering for the past 5 years now, and over that time have encountered many forms of resistance to embracing the microvolunteering concept from the third sector. Bearing in mind that microvolunteering can be conducted online (mostly) or offline, on demand and without ‘red tape’ (mostly). we list below some of the reasons given to us or that we have become aware of when it came to volunteering involved organisations not wishing to pursue or embrace microvolunteering.
With the omnipresent internet everywhere, we provide this list to see if any of your recognise any of them in your organisation, and ask you to project yourselves 10 years forward into the future and speculate on how pervasive the internet will become in the lives of the public/customers you serve.
On the assumption that the internet is going to be even more expansive in our everyday lives eg car, clothes, household appliances, can you or should you be resisting change to online / microvolunteering opportunities? Take a look below and see if you can recognise any, and remember these are reasons we have actually encountered from nonprofits for not wishing to look at the microvolunteering concept.
- rejected by a County Council on grounds of health and safety issues. Considering microvolunteering is mostly conducted by clicking a mouse, this was a somewhat surprising reason.
- rejected by a national Digital Inclusion project on grounds that microvolunteering was not considered relevant to their project. A surprising decision considering that microvolunteering could have been used as an easy ‘hook’ to entice charitably minded people online.
- lack of funding or resources from charities to incorporate online / microvolunteering into their current project.
- lack of a current project from a charity that could embrace microvolunteering to benefit their ‘customers’.
- ‘old school’ nonprofit employees resistant to change from traditional volunteering opportunities.
- nonprofit employees not understanding or willing to accept that micro-actions can be conducted without some of the ‘red tape’ issues that goes with the traditional volunteering territory.
- lack of awareness that online / microvolunteering activities can be used to build up work based skills for inclusion on a volunteer CV.
- protocols from nonprofit senior management or the IT department preventing the use of social media, VOIP technology like Skype, or cloud based platforms.
- lack of understanding regarding the value of online / micro actions.
Recognise any of them? In ten years time, with the expansion of the internet, do you really want to be left behind.
Resistance is futile!
(so sayeth the Borg from Star Trek)
Article first appeared in ivo.org in May, 2013 and was a call out to nonprofits to look at their stance towards online / microvolunteering opportunities