What is microvolunteering?
A quick scout around the web reveals many definitions, but 4 of them seem to be taking more prominence than the rest. These are:
1) ‘online or offline no commitment, on-demand, sub 30 minute actions that benefit a worthy cause’ (as suggested by Help From Home)
2) ‘convenient, bite-sized, crowdsourced, and network-managed’ (as suggested by Skills For Change)
3) ‘the act of voluntary participating in small day-to-day situations that occupy a brief amount of time’ (as suggested by Student Volunteer Connections)
4) Micro-volunteering is bite-size volunteering with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality, involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and complete (as suggested by Institute of Volunteering Research)
The actions might be a task that could be accomplished as a whole unit from start to finish by one person within, say 30 minutes or it might be an action that could be broken down into its component parts where an individual is just one of many people performing the same task to achieve an end result. 10 seconds to 30 minutes is all you need to help out a worthy cause!
How do you define a microvolunteering action?
The definition of a microvolunteering action has been given it’s own page – because it’s a bit of a long answer!
How do you define a ‘worthy cause’?
Because it’s just a little bit more than just a simple answer, the definition of a ‘worthy cause’ has been given it’s own page!
How do I volunteer?
Simple! Just choose a category via the coloured ‘Do Good’, ‘Advocacy’ & ‘Green’ Action menus on the homepage. Then choose an action, click the ‘Microvolunteer for this role’ button, and read the instructions on the nonprofit website. If you’re happy with what you see, go forth and microvolunteer! Help From Home is not running the volunteer opportunities, it’s just merely acting as a intermediary to enable you to find the opportunities.
Are all the volunteer opportunities really free to participate in?
Yes, although some of the opportunities may involve postage costs or crafting materials. You may already have stamps or the materials in your house anyway.
Are there any benefits to microvolunteering?
Yes! In fact, you’d be surprised at how many there actually are – too many to include in a few sentences, so we’ve collated them onto a separate page, surprisingly entitled ‘Benefits of Microvolunteering’!
Do I need any special qualifications to volunteer?
Although some skills may open the door to more opportunities, the vast majority of actions listed on the website require no special skills at all. Just do it and ‘do good’!
How can I be sure that the organisations listed are reputable?
We have laid down our criteria for the suitability of an organisation to be included on our platform. However, there is no substitute for research and although we’ve done our bit, ultimately you will have to decide whether the organisation is reputable.
Do I have to be of a certain age to volunteer?
Absolutely not. If you’ve got the desire to volunteer then just do it, no matter how old or young you are.
How accurate are the times given for each action?
The length of time it takes to complete an action should be viewed as a guidance only, as everybody will work at their own pace. The times stated are either for the whole action or the main thrust of the action.
Can I get recognition awards for my participation in microvolunteering actions?
We work in tandem with vInspired, the UK’s national volunteer database for 14 – 25 year olds, to promote microvolunteering. vInspired has devoted a category to microvolunteering actions that was created to revolve around the actions featured on Help From Home. They provide a tracking system that can record a participants activity that could eventually lead to a nationally recognised award in the UK for the number of volunteering hours completed. vInspired administer the award scheme and all enquiries about it should be directed to them.
Can you provide proof of the number of hours volunteered that could count towards my Community Service?
Help From Home is a directory of nonprofit microvolunteering actions and as such does not run any of the opportunities featured on it’s website. We are therefore not in a position ourselves to verify any time spent on the microvolunteering actions. That said though, there are 3 possible routes as to how you might achieve your request:
1) contact the nonprofit directly, to see whether they will verify the time spent microvolunteering. Actions and their associated websites can be found through the coloured ‘Do Good’, ‘Green’ and ‘Advocacy’ buttons on our homepage
2) if you live in the UK and are aged between 14 – 25, visit vInpsired who promote microvolunteering in tandem with us. They feature approx 70 actions from our website and have a method to record your time microvolunteered, although it does not involve signature verification
3) take some screenshots of the actions you’ve completed and record the time you volunteered, based on the time as suggested on our website for each individual action. Refer to our Skills 4 You project for the procedure to create an ePortfolio of actions and how to demonstrate an action has been completed by yourself. You will need to confirm with the volunteering hours scheme administrator that this is an acceptable method.
How did Help From Home start?
In 2006, the founder of Help From Home came across a few home based volunteering opportunities which he decided to participate in. He then became aware of other opportunities out there, which didn’t appear to be listed on any of the volunteer portal sites like do-it.org or VolunteerMatch. He felt that these opportunities were just as valuable in benefiting worthy causes as the more traditional ones listed on the above sites. So he set about creating a website that would enable people to locate these home based opportunities all under one roof and voila, Help From Home was born in 2008. The rest, as they say, is history!
Do you accept donations?
Yes please, as the running costs are borne entirely out of our own pockets or whatever funding we can get our hands on. You can donate or sponsor us on our Support Us page. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
Are you a registered charity or a non profit organisation?
We’re neither, as we’re an unincorporated association.
Where are you based?
Cardiff, UK – the home of home microvolunteering!
How do you find all the initiatives featured on Help From Home?
We either perform a specific search for an opportunity (rare), or we stumble across something on the net (mostly), or we use our nose to follow something that caught our eye (often-ish). Only very occasionally does an organisation contact Help From Home with a suggestion of a microvolunteer opportunity.
Where can I let you know of an action that seems suitable for inclusion on Help From Home?
Fill in the form on our Microvolunteer Action Registration Form page. You’ll need to give us a brief description of the action and the webpage where we can find it. We’ll take it from there!
My question isn’t answered here?
Just use the Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you with an answer.