The core returns on employer supported volunteering include improved employee engagement, retention, recruitment and reduced absenteeism; it is especially valuable for attracting young people, particularly high calibre graduates. Done well volunteering is also an excellent vehicle for developing high performance teams with better results and lower costs than traditional team building programmes. But what about colleagues who work individually or in teams that cannot be away together? MicroVolunteering can deliver these benefits.
MicroVolunteering is a bite size volunteering opportunity that enables individuals or small groups to make a difference towards a worthy cause. Done well these can be coordinated within a team towards a common goal to achieve performance benefits comparable with volunteering team days. So, what is it exactly?
The scope is vast, from spending 5 minutes mapping kelp forests to record the progression of climate change to committing and hour a week to mentor a young person towards a better life. We can mark up a series of patient brain scans to help understand the progression of dementia. We can snap a picture of a bird or an insect to measure the health of our ecosystem. We can call an elderly person once a week to make their life a better place. We can transcribe war diaries into accessible text for future generations. We can run a virtual classroom for disadvantaged children across the world or map their landscape from satellite photos of damage caused by war or natural disasters. All from the ease and comfort of our desk.
Some opportunities require a simple registration process where volunteers can be started in seconds. Some need more complex registration and even vetting with some requiring DBS checks. Many are free at the point of use, whilst others require a financial contribution to cover training costs. As with all good quality volunteering, someone must put in the time and effort to make the opportunity easy to access, ensure it is relevant and has real impact. MicroVolunteering is not for everyone, but for some it is their best way of getting involved.
For more information or to discuss opportunities that may be suitable for your colleagues please get in touch.