Micro-Volunteering Lets You Make A Difference From Your Couch

February 4, 2011

Did you know you can volunteer in your pajamas? GOOD recently shared a cool story about Sparked, the world’s first micro-volunteering network.

Described as “online volunteering for busy people,” the website feels a little like an online dating site that helps find your perfect match (or matches) by combining your interests and skill set with needs from nonprofits from around the world.

I gave it a shot and entered my information. I was then presented with several options for helping out, including giving website feedback to the Rosa Parks Millbrook Elementary PTA, critiquing a volunteer flyer for Literacy Action, Inc. or helping develop an ad campaign to reach stay-at-home parents for St. Andrews Housing Group.

The site actually started as a mobile app dubbed “The Extraordinaries” three years ago, but has evolved into the easy-to-use website we see today. According to the GOOD article, more than 150,000 people have signed up as micro-volunteers and between 10 and 30 nonprofits register every day.

“74% of the United States doesn’t volunteer, and the overwhelming reason is that they’re just too busy to engage,” says Colker. While Sparked won’t convince everyone to transfer their energy from Facebook stalking to social good, it certainly dismantles several of the barriers that prevent working professionals from volunteering – and judging from the amount of hours wasted online each week, finding the time to micro-volunteer shouldn’t prove too difficult. ~ Jessica Roy, GOOD

Personally, I think it could be a great resource for people who want to volunteer and make a difference but may not be able to make a long-term commitment to an organization.