Thursday, 12 May 2011

Micro - Volunteering : Another Interesting Idea

I have had quite a few meetings with the Graduate Attributes team at Glasgow University, a lovely pair, with lots of great university contacts and even greater ideas.

Jamie Wightwick ,Graduate Attributes Project Officer, pointed me in the direction of Micro Volunteering and in particular a website called 'Sparked' as a potential idea for delivering certain aspects of an alumni volunteering programme.

Sparked is a pioneer of the concept of ‘micro-volunteering’ – small 5-10 minute tasks that can be carried out remotely by an army of e-volunteers. Jamie added that he thinks it’s a really interesting model because it tackles the issue that a lot of the time people don’t have the time to volunteer head-on, and if done successfully thinks it really can provide an innovative form of support to charities.

He has wondered for a while whether this is a model that could play a part in engaging our own alumni base (through our own website rather than through Sparked) – in graduate attributes terms for example it’d be an excellent way of building up a quick bank of case studies (e.g. ‘we need volunteers to fill in this quick template with an example of some form of extra-curricular activity they engaged in and how it’s gone on to help them in their future job’ ‘make us a 5 minute YouTube video about your experiences of our work placement programme, Club21 etc.).

It is something that needs careful consideration and management to make it attractive for people to engage with – in my own experiences of tinkering around with Sparked, far too many of the tasks offered currently boil down to ‘look at our website and tell us how to make it better’ or ‘explain to us how to use facebook/twitter.’

Some food for thought, but definitely an interesting model, as Jamie said "Something to file in the ‘wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if’ ideas pile in any case"

1 comment:

  1. Sparked deals in microvolunteering tasks that need specialised skills, which the majority of people don't have.

    You may find the non-skilled microvolunteering actions over at Help From Home potentially easier to engage students in.