Volunteering is a fantastic way to develop skills, meet people and give back to your community. For some people, volunteering helps in assisting people back into work. For others, it becomes the centre of their social lives. Others make it a full-time vocation.
Not everyone has the time to make such a big, long-term commitment, though. As a result, new types of volunteering opportunities have appeared to cater for people who want to fit it around busy lifestyles.
Micro-volunteering and the internet are together offering a powerful platform to support worthy causes at home and around the world. The concept is quickly gaining momentum and has opened up a communication channel between volunteers and charities which could potentially shape the future of volunteering in years to come.
So, what is it about volunteering through the internet that makes it so popular?
- It’s quick – a micro-action can take less than 10 minutes.
- it’s free.
- It can fit around your busy schedule.
Equally, charities are finding micro-volunteering an attractive option as they look for more innovative ways to recruit volunteers.
What types of activity can a volunteer get involved in?
The list is almost endless.
- Being a ‘pen pal’ with a hospitalised child
- Sign an online petition for a cause you believe in
- Knit an item of clothing for someone who is need of it
- Helping a charity run their eBay account
- Offering translation services
- Editing articles on Wikipedia
- Supporting a charity’s web-presence
- Helping a charity with their social media presence
There are several websites that offer such opportunities. These include:
Timebanking is a simple way in which people within communities can come together to help others, and themselves at the same time.
A timebank member can earn time credits by giving practical help and support to others. Everyone’s time is equal so one hour of your time volunteering earns you one credit which can be exchanged for an hour of something that you need. You can find more information on Timebanks across Cambridgeshire by visiting our dedicated Timebank page.
Over 30,000 people across the UK support Timecredits. Its a variation on Timebanking, where hours given to support a community are exchanged for credits which can be redeemed at a range of spend partners. For more information on Timecredits across the East of England see our dedicated page or visit www.wearetempo.org.