Micro-Volunteering

Devoting Idle Moments to Good Deeds




Online “crowdsourcing,” so useful to Wikipedia.org in gathering information for its free encyclopedia, is set to benefit other types of nonprofits as well, thanks to an iPhone app piloted by The Extraordinaries, out of San Francisco. The idea is to get people to volunteer whenever it is convenient. Currently, on-demand volunteers simply tap in to participate in a nonprofit project such as tagging photos for museums or photographing neighborhood play areas to help create a nationwide map of playgrounds.

As the program expands, people who want to do more can find out when and where to show up to support a local community program. The Extraordinaries envision smart-phone volunteers nationwide eventually translating documents, tutoring students, collecting citizen-scientist data and even reporting potholes and other municipal problems. Down the road, volunteers might even read through congressional bills to uncover hidden “pork,” or help fact-check news reports.

“If you can imagine the possibilities of what 100,000 people with a few minutes can do,” says CEO Jacob Colker, “it’s really incredible.”


Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Rolling Internet

A 40-foot-long Winnebago called the Digibus rolled through central California towns to train kids and adults in computer and job-searching skills.

Elder Force

The financially strapped National Park Service increasingly relies on volunteers to staff visitor centers and campsites, and a third of the workers are over age 54.

City Smarts

Cities throughout the country are exploring fresh ways to make cities both environmentally sustainable and pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

Floral Throughways

If you’re awed by the mass of blooms decorating highway meridians and embankments, you often have local garden clubs to thank, along with partnering state highway departments.

Nature’s Metric

The Living Future Challenge has developed a bold framework to evoke fresh thinking about the design of systems, products and buildings.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags