27 June 2023 | 2 min read


A buzzy idea floating around for the past few years is MICRO VOLUNTEERING. The idea is to involve people by offering low-commitment mini-tasks on exciting projects. It’s a fun concept. And a great way for an organization to introduce outsiders to their actions to change the world. But is it right for your organization? Let’s discuss this. 


What is micro-volunteering?

Micro volunteering usually skips the screening, onboarding process, and training process. Micro volunteering opportunities are bite-sized tasks. They are roles where you can jump in and help a large group complete. Many people do small portions of an assignment to help finish the job.  


What are some examples of micro-volunteering? 

  • Donating used items to a local charity.
  • Contributing to surveys or research projects. 
  • Preparing and serving meals in the community. 
  • Signing petition letters or handing out flyers for special causes.
  • Sharing social media posts for nonprofits.
  • Writing letters or drawing pictures for those incarcerated, in the hospital, or shut-in. 
  • Donating your time to help write or translate documents. 
  • Designing graphics and artwork for smaller charities or nonprofits.


The micro-volunteering trend is not for everyone. 

It is an easy way to introduce people to your organization and get them used to serving. But micro-volunteering does not work for all organizations. Remember, there are pros and cons. 


The pros are pretty alluring:

  • Get people involved fast.

  • Get help on big projects.

  • Tap into expertise from outside sources.

  • Introduce potential long-term volunteers to what your organization does.

  • Do more of the good work you already do.


But there are also cons to consider. Micro-volunteering, in its nature, does not promote commitment or loyalty. Micro-volunteers are typically un-screened and untrained. At Volunteer U, we emphasize training and choosing the right team members. There’s a reason these two steps are critical in the volunteer cycle and how harmful it can be to ignore them. So before you jump on the micro-volunteering bandwagon, consider if this will work for you.


Will micro-volunteering work for your organization?

As you figure out if a micro-volunteer program will work for you, there are a few questions to ask.


1) Will this connect people to your organization’s vision and mission?

2) Will micro-volunteering open the door to future donors or long-term partnerships?

3) Are there tasks that people can do with little or no training, no screening, and no prior connection to our organization?

4) Will this create too much work for your staff? 

5) Will staff members feel overwhelmed or aided by the volunteers?

6) Could your organization’s reputation or work be potentially harmed by outsiders helping? 


Micro-volunteering is a fun way to get people connected to your organization. Plus, it is a great way to complete large projects. But there are limitations. Think things through carefully. Make sure this trend will work for your organization’s unique culture and mission.