TUESDAY TRENDS MICRO-VOLUNTEERING

Tuesday Trends is a weekly post that covers, in brief, emerging movements, innovations, or strategies that you can integrate, tweak, or ponder as you organize your program.

Teens & Tweens are powerful commodities in the world of getting things done. As youth leaders you are more than likely looking for ways to energize student involvement and participation in church related or community related good. Micro-volunteering is a trending practice among students who are over scheduled but intimately engaged in being helpful.

Micro-volunteering

An Instant Generation – Students today are impulsive and expectant. They have been conditioned in a world were waiting is not an option. You’re able to get pretty much anything you want within a few clicks.
A Digital Generation –¬†Students will commit to digital opportunities where online signups and compelling invitations to help are extended. Services like Wufoo, Sparked, & Volunteer Spot¬†offer great ways to share options and opportunities for kids to serve.
Bite Sized – This generation is looking for customizable experiences and options that can fit into their lives. Like it or not, youth determine their participation by asking, “Can I do this now? How long will it take?” and, “How big are the qualifying barriers?”

Implications

Consider creating project based community needs accessible to your teens on your church, youth, or advocacy site. Integrate the signup tools with descriptive summaries of involvement. Make those opportunities as closely connected as possible to “do it now” moments. This will help teens who are impulsive, ready, but also cramped for time. Consider offering a wide variety of opportunities. You can offer tasks and projects related to your work but also offer other non-profit opportunities that diversify the options.

Make your level to entry low. Sometimes we want to make everything a teachable moment and we’re also prone to make everything training oriented. If your barriers to entry require additional meetings or unreasonable qualifiers you may unknowingly discourage participation. Save those kinds of moments for larger scaled or interpersonal work where it’s most needed. When students get the picture that one hour of service will demand a meeting scheduled at a time they can’t go that puts them out an additional 2-3 hours they instinctively resist.

Here are a few questions to consider.

Is it easy to sign up?

Does it fit an impulsive mindset?

Am I offering a wide array of choices?

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2 Responses to “TUESDAY TRENDS MICRO-VOLUNTEERING”

  1. Mike September 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Other microvolunteering websites include:
    http://helpfromhome.org/
    http://brightworks.me/#/
    http://www.troopp.com/
    http://www.microvoluntarios.org/

    Students might also like to organize a fun Microvolunteering Party:
    http://helpfromhome.org/our-projects/microvolunteering-party

  2. chadswanzy September 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Appreciate your thoughts Mike.

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