Archive for January, 2013

Non Profits Welcome Microvolunteers

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

volunteer screeningBusy workers seem to have less time than ever. Between work, family obligations, second jobs or part-time school, more people are seeing their free time swallowed up. When people have fewer free hours, they contribute fewer of them to volunteering.

Traditional volunteer duties can take hours that many just don’t have. But some companies are jumping on the “microvolunteering” bandwagon, and making it more convenient for their employees give back to their communities.

Microvolunteering was inspired by the thought of the number of hours employees spend on social media each day—and turning that time into volunteer time. Now, employers like Kraft Foods Group, Inc. are allowing employees to volunteer from their desks, in short bursts.

Employees might write a newsletter, translate documents, participate in online brainstorming sessions or update a nonprofit’s social media pages. There is no need for workers to leave the office and drive to another location, spending a day or half day onsite. Volunteers can help out at any time—not just specific hours or events. Plus, they don’t have to give up precious family and friend time on weekends or evenings.

Tapping into volunteers’ at-work free time, such as breaks or lunch hours, is a great way to recruit new volunteers, or re-engage volunteers who have fallen by the wayside. Using their writing, graphic design, data analysis or language skills makes it easy to put them right to work.

Employers who really want to help out their communities don’t limit employees to using only their free time for microvolunteering. Some allow a certain number of hours per month to be spent giving back. The companies also gain from the relationship, since employees are building skills, creating connections between the corporation and community, and learning more about professional development.

If you’re looking to corporate partners to provide some volunteers for your organization, pitch the microvolunteering idea. It’s a great way to turn a few minutes of time into a lasting gift to your non profit organization!