Not-for-profits and volunteers are responding to today’s rapid change by adapting their practices to behavioral and technological trends. As you look for volunteer opportunities in the new year, or are considering new ways to expand your current volunteer role, Slacktivism, Crowdsourcing and Micro-volunteering are three fast-growing trends that might help make your work more interesting and productive.
Slacktivism – Click, click, change.
A creative marriage of the words “slacker” and “activism,” slacktivism is the term for actions performed via the Internet that affect social or political causes, so named because very little time or involvement is required. Examples may include creating and/or participating in online petitions, posting to social media websites, or emailing your elected officials. If you have very little time to volunteer, or if you want to help affect change in a variety of areas, slacktivism is a great way to make sure your voice is heard, and the simplicity of the process makes it easy to engage your friends and family in order to multiply your efforts.
Crowdsourcing – Gather more people.
Create more good. An overarching volunteer concept that often includes slacktivism, crowdsourcing is the process of gathering content, ideas or resources from multiple people, usually via the Internet. With crowdsourcing, work can be divided into smaller, more manageable tasks. Crowdfunding, a form of crowdsourcing, allows organizers to pool financial resources in pursuit of a common goal. Do you have a project in your community that several hands working together could finish over a weekend? You can distribute a flyer at a local community event and crowdsource the project. Is there a community building in need of repair, or a youth group that needs funding for uniforms, materials, or transportation? Redbasket.org offers the opportunity to share your story, recruit volunteers and even fundraise online for your volunteer group.
Micro-volunteering – Every little bit counts.
Are you looking for a virtual volunteer opportunity that doesn’t require an application process, screening or specific training? Micro-volunteering may be for you. Most tasks require minimal commitment and take less than 10 minutes to complete. Examples include mapping planets and other celestial bodies or helping NOAA map the Earth’s magnetic field.