Did you get involved with National Micro Volunteering Day?
The founder of Walsall ACTION Dr Antonio G. Farruggia-Bochnak, has written this guest blog post about micro volunteering and how Walsall Action uses micro volunteering.
Walsall ACTION is a not-for-profit community and youth work based social action organisation that will, over the coming months and years, be creating, developing and delivering projects aimed at increasing the attractiveness, cultural value and touristic appeal of Walsall. Walsall ACTION also aims to address the social issue that impact on the attractiveness, cultural value and touristic appeal of Walsall.
Walsall Action is committed to increasing the Attractiveness, Cultural value, and Touristic appeal of Walsall. With the mindset that embraces Innovative ideas, an Optimistic attitude, and that is Nurturing in nature. Hence ACTION
In terms of volunteering Walsall ACTION are looking to create volunteering opportunities within the community projects, youth work projects, and character education projects that we intend to set up in each of the 20 wards of Walsall. We are however currently using micro-volunteering as a way of involving people who want to volunteer with our organisation. Micro-volunteering is usefully described here within an article written by the Guardian
‘Microvolunteering takes a simple idea – that people are more likely to volunteer their time in short and convenient, bite-sized chunks – and turns it into a new approach to community action. It offers volunteers a series of easy tasks that can be done anytime, anywhere, on [their] own terms’ (Guardian, 2017).
At Walsall ACTION we have found that micro-volunteering offers us a unique way to promote the work that we are doing. On our homepage we provide three options for people who are interested in doing some micro-volunteering. We currently have 3 micro volunteering opportunities for people to be involved within:
- The first option asks volunteers to donate one minute of their time to subscribe to our newsletter. When a person sign up to a newsletter he or she is volunteering themselves to be counted as someone that Walsall ACTION has contact with.
- The second micro-volunteering option, which is also on our homepage, simply asks people if they would post a link to our website on their social media. With volunteers donating about two minutes of their time.
- The third option asks people to not only post a link to our website but to also say a few words about Walsall ACTION on their social media. We have added a few sentences about Walsall ACTION that can be copied and pasted on social media. Where volunteers donate three minutes of their time
We are just in the infancy in terms of this approach to volunteering, but we are excited by its potential. It would be nice to see other organisations stating to use this approach, we have found it to be a wonderfully creative and experiment that has challenged us to find out what could work as an organisation for us and for potential volunteers.
I think its also important to know that micro-volunteering doesn’t necessarily have to be done online either. It can take place in the physical world too. For example, Walsall ACTION has been supporting the WASUP (Walsall Against Single Use Plastic) project that was founded by Professor Gatrad, a paediatric consultant at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Micro-volunteering comes in to play for those who are unable to commit to a two-hour long WASUP litter pick. Where people could micro-volunteer for WASUP, by simply picking up litter when we see it. This simple act could also be added to by posting a photo on social media in support of the WASUP’s campaign. If 100,000 people in Walsall volunteered one minute of their time to pick up pieces of litter, just think of the effect it could have on the community and the environment. When these small acts of micro volunteering are multiplied the potential effects become incredible.
I would suggest to anyone who is thinking of creating micro-volunteering opportunities to read ‘How to Develop a Microvolunteering Action’ that has been produced by ‘Help from Home’. It has been written specifically for charities and not-for-profit organisations who are thinking of setting up micro-volunteering opportunities.